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eLLeN strong barjLett 




Historical Sketches 





New Haven : 

Printed by Tutti,e, Morehouse & Tayi^or. 



Copyright 1897 

Ei^i.EN Strong BARTtETT 


(Jilis JBook 


E. S. B. 



These papers have appeared by request, from time to time, in The 
Connediait Quarterh and the New Englmid Magazine ; and as some of them 
are out of print, it has seemed best to bring them together in this volume. 

Although they are a humble contribution to the literature that is 
accumulating with reference to New Haven, they are the result of loving 
and careful research in the most trustworthy sources of information, and it 
is earnestly hoped that everything therein stated as a fact rests on undoubted 

We cannot too often recount the efforts made in planting the tree, if 
thereby those who eat the fruit are incited to till the soil about the roots. 

E. S. B. 


The New Haven Green, ---... g 

A New Haven Church, --..-. 21 

The Grove Street Cemetery, - - - - - 42 

H11.LHOXJSE Avenue, ---... ^5 

John Trumbull, The Patriot Painter, • - - - 77 

Historical Sketches of New Haven. 

When the forefathers marked out their famous nine squares, with that in 
the middle set apart as a "public market-place," they fixed the center of the 
life of the city of Elms. The Green has been called the heart of New Haven. 
In absence, the name calls up stirring memories ; on return, the sight of it stirs 
thrills of recognition. It is only a simple grassy square, surrounded and dotted 
by trees, divided by Temple street, crossed by many paths for the convenience 
of busy people ; and enshrining three old churches. But the square has been 
there since Davenport and Eaton laid out the town in 1638 ; the trees have 
stood a hundred years ; and around the churches are entwined the historic 
associations of the colony and the city. 

The changes have been many. The alders and willows that over-hung 
pools of water, have gone; so, too, have the "market-house," the whipping- 
post, the buildings which one after another graced or disgraced its surface. The 
area is sixteen acres ; it is not exactly square, because the surveyor who meas- 
ured it in the midst of primeval wildness, was unable to be stridlly accurate, but 
to the ej^e this is not apparent. 

The surveyor was John Brockett, son of Sir John Brockett of Brockett's 
Hall, Herefordshire ; and perhaps a little inexacftness may be understood, if we 
believe the tradition that he had left all in England and had crossed the sea in 
pursuit of a charming girl among the Puritan band. 

Around the Green were placed the houses of the leaders of the colony, 
which was the most opulent of those that left England, and thus the Green has 
always been before the eyes of the citizens, and has been the short-cut from one 
" quarter " to another. It is itself a token that the colonists came, not to seek 


The New Haven Green. 

adventure or to avoid the restraints of civilized life, but with a definite purpose 
to found a state, with a city at its head, that they intended to be graced by 
order and beauty. May the good intentions of good men always be thus carried 

The building of the meeting-house, identified in New Haven so pre- 
eminently with the state, came foremost in their plans. The first Sabbath, 
April 1 8, 1638, has been often described ; and artists have been inspired by the 
chronicle to show us the spreading oak and the reverent company of English- 
men, women and children, assembled there for the worship they had crossed the 
ocean to maintain. This oak, under which John Davenport, the favorite lyondon 


Frotn a Painting in the rooms 0/ the Neiv Haven Colony tlistorical Society, 

minister, preached on " the temptation in the wilderness," was near the present 
corner of George and College streets, but the first house of God was as nearly as 
possible, in the center of the Green. This was in 1639, and on this historic spot 
have been placed the successive buildings of the church, so appropriately known 
as the " Center." Even more than in other colonies was this a fitting situation, 
for the founders made the law that "the Church Members only shall be free 
Burgesses ; and that they only shall chuse magistrates and officers among them- 
selves to have the power of transacfling all publique civil aSairs of this planta- 

The New Haven Green. 


The "meeting-house " was a modest little shelter for sentiments like these. 
It was only fifty feet square, perfe(5tly plain, with roof like a truncated pyramid, 
but on Sabbaths it must haye been furnished nobly with keen intelledl and high 
principle. We know all about the Sabbath then, the beating of the drum, the 
decorous walk through the Green to the meeting-house, the careful ranking of 
seats, the stationing of the guard to keep watch on lurking Indians. Those 
who go up now to worship may feel that they are literally following the foot- 
steps of the fathers. Through the Green was the special path allowed to the 
first pastor, John Davenport, so that he might walk on Sundays from his house 
to the pulpit in the complete seclusion befitting his dignity. Here, later, was 
the first school-house, a little back of the church, and alas ! in spite of all these 
privileges of religious and political liberty, before long a jail was necessary, that 
made a blot on the Green. The whipping-post was moved about until 1831, 

From a Drawing; owned by the New Haven Colony Historical Society, 

when it was exchanged for the less appalling sign-post for legal notices. And 
the public square was not too good in early days for a pound. The old alms- 
house stood on the northwest corner, near College street. For its convenience 
was a well of excellent water, which, it is thought, has never been filled up. 

In 1639, Ne-pau-puck, a persistent enemy, was beheaded here, and perhaps 
this ghastly yielding of savage ferocity to Anglo-Saxon law is the darkest picfture 
the Green has offered. After the English custom, the burying-ground adjoined 
the church, and there were laid the wise and the good, the young and the old, of the 
infant settlement. Martha Townsend was the first woman buried in this ground. 
Sometimes, at dead of night, apart from others, the victims of small-pox were 
fearfully laid here. The ground was filled with graves between the church and 
College street ; sixteen bodies having been found within sixteen square feet, 
when in 1821, the stones were removed to the Grove Street Cemetery, and the 
ground was leveled. A few stones are left in their original places, while in the 





The New Haven Green. 


crypt of the church may be seen, as they stood, the monuments of more than a 
hundred and thirty of the early inhabitants. Back of the church are some small, 
dark stones, decidedly gnawed by time. Tradition used to ascribe two of these 
to the resting-places of GofFe and Whalley, the hunted regicides ; and elaborate 
interpretations were given of the purposely brief and misleading inscriptions. 
Opinion now discredits this, and assigns the stone formerly called Whalley's to 
Martin Gilbert, Assistant Deputy. But there is no mistake about the grave of 
Dixwell, the third of the regicides, and the original stone, simply inscribed, 
"J. D. 1688-9," etc., is plainly seen, while in the same enclosure is the monu- 
ment erected in 1847, by the descendants of Dixwell. He had concealed his 
name under that of Davis. An inscription on the church-wall tells us that 


From a Draifiing otvneii by the New Haven Colony Historical Society. 

Theophilus Eaton, the noted founder of the town, lies near. Over the entrance 
of the church are the main dates and fadls of the settlement of the town, and 
many a passer through the Green stops under the shade of the trees to read, and 
get a lesson in history. 

As time passed, the Green was graded and cleared. Around it lived the 
Pierponts, the Trowbridges, the Ingersolls, and facing its upper side were the 
buildings of the infant Yale. They were very simple, and afford a great contrast 
to the elaborate and imposing array of to-day, but the forty boys were proud of 
their college. 

The three churches on Temple street, in the very middle of the Green, are 
an unusual and striking feature of a public square. The North Church, now 
called the United Church, and Trinity Church, were built in 1814, as well as 



The New Haven Green. 


the present building of the Center Church, so that the three buildings were 
rising at the same time, during the troubled period of our second war with Eng- 
land. It is said that the ship which was bringing in material for Trinity Church 
was overhauled by a British cruiser, but that the enemy was persuaded to relin- 
quish that part of the booty when its sacred destination was disclosed. 

Besides these, no buildings now stand within the enclosure, and no further 
encroachment is allowed. One after another, the various strudlures which a 
too accommodating public allowed, have been removed. 

The last to go was the "old State House," in 1887. Built in 1829, by 
Ithiel Towne, it was the successor of several State Houses which stood in 
different parts of the Green. Its removal was long discussed, and the 
friends and the opponents of the measure were aroused to couch their argu- 
ments in decidedly vigorous language. Without the State House steps, classes 
and associations g o 
hunting for a place for 
photographic groups. 
The classic columns of 
this copy of the The- 
seum, mxist figure in 
many a pi<5ture belong- 
ing to by-gone days. 

In the latter part 
of the last century, the 
Green began to put on 
its present appearance. 
The county-house and 
jail were taken away in 
1784. In that year, 
a market-house was 
placed near the corner 
of Church and Chapel 
streets, but in 1798, it 

was taken down. At that time, the square was fenced, under the diredlion 
of James Hillhouse, David Austin, and Isaac Beers. 

In 1799, permission was obtained to level the surface at private expense. 
Evidently public spirit was stronger in individuals than in common councils. 
About that time the great planting of elms began. The two famous trees, 
which may have set the fashion which caused Mrs. Tuthill to call New 
Haven the "City of Elms," were brought to town in 1686, by William 
Cooper, as a gift to the pastor, and were planted in front of the Pierpout 
house, where the Bristol house now is. There they flourished for more than 
one hundred and fifty years. They shaded the windows of Sarah Pierpont, that 
rare maiden who was " of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and unusual benev- 
olence," who "sometimes went about singing sweetly, and seemed to be always 
full of joy and pleasure," who " loved to be alone, walking in the fields and 



The Neiv Haven Green. 


groves," and whose charms of beauty, intelleA, and good sense subjugated even 
Jonathan Edwards, the intelledlual giant of America. Some one has said that 
in the shade of those 
trees, these famous lovers 
must have often hngered. 
Twenty-three years after 
their marriage, a platform 
was built under the pen- 
dent boughs and the ' 'sil- 
ver tongued ' ' Whitefield 
preached to the listening 
crowd on the Green. The 
Pierpont elms lived for 
more than a century and 
a half. The last was cut 
down in 1840, having at- 
tained a circumference of 
eighteen feet. Two mag- 
nificent elms were also in 
front of the house and 
school of the Rev. Clau- 
dius Herrick, where Bat- 
tell Chapel now is. They 
too, were a century and a 
half old, in 1879, when 
cut down. At the corner 
of Church and Chapel 
streets, is the most noted 
of New Haven elms, the 
" Franklin Elm." Jerry 

Allen, a "poet and pedagogue," brought it on his back from Hamden Plains, 
and sold it to Thaddeus Beecher for a pint of rum and some trifles. It was 
planted on the day of Franklin's death, April 17, 1790. Its girth, two feet from 
the ground, is sixteen feet ; its height is eighty feet. This noble tree spreads 
its graceful branches as a welcome and a shelter to all who make pilgrimage to. 
New Haven. It seems a fitting gateway to the arcades that stretch athwart the 
turf beyond. In the shade of the Franklin elm is the "Town pump," one of 
the old landmarks which thirsty people would regret to see removed. It was 
given to the city long ago by Mr. Douglass, of Middletown. 

In 1784, the Common Council ordered the extension of Temple street to 
Grove street, and in 1792, Hillhouse Avenue was laid out. Col. James Hillhouse, 
ever enthusiastic in public works, besought the citizens to subscribe for beautifying 
the Green by planting trees. This was in 1787, and most of the trees were set 
between then and 1796. Most of them were brought from the Hillhouse farm in 



The Neiv Haven Green. 

Meriden, and by the testimony of eye-witnesses, they varied from the size of 
whipstocks to a foot in thickness. 

The zeal of Col. Hillhouse, who often took the spade in his own hands, 
inspired others. The Rev. David Austin was moved to plant the inner rows on 
the east and west sides of the Green, and many stories are told of the enthusiasm 
of boys in holding trees, of girls in watering and tending them, all to help on 
the good work. The cool and shady streets of New Haven are a memorial of 
this widespread interest in Hillhouse' s plan. Such men as Ogden Edwards, 
United States Judge Henry Baldwin, and President Day, were proud, in mature 
life, to look back on their boyish participation in the work. 

A con.stant and varied succession of foot-passengers may be seen on the 
diagonal paths. There is no " age, sex, or condition " which is not to be found 


there during the day. Babies in summer, boys skating in winter, wise professors 
and students with book in hand, at all times, are surely there. Many times, 
thousands of children have been massed there, to add to the festivity of Fourth 
of July, Sunday-school, and centennial celebrations, and their choruses have 
carried the swelling voices of vast choirs to the cathedral arch of Temple street. 
Probably no famous man has ever visited New Haven without contributing his 
presence to the personal associations of this simple square. Nobles, scholars, 
poets, divines, statesmen, from all countries, have been there. Washington 
decorously attended church at Trinity. Lafayette reviewed troops here, and 
both were sometimes visitors of Roger Sherman, who lived just above the Green. 
After the Revolutionary heroes, the place felt the tread of Madi.son and Monroe, 
of John Quincy Adams, of Andrew Jackson, of Van Buren. Then came the 

The New Haven Green. 


great men of the civil war ; Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Hancock, McDowell, 
and many more, have bowed to the cheers of thousands crowded on the Green. 

Training days and county fairs must have caused the Green to smile, and 
even to laugh aloud, and whenever the feeling of the town has been stirred to its 
depths, the Green has been 
the spot to which every one 
hied to show his share in 
that feeling. Here the loyal 
subjedts of George III. cele- 
brated his majority, and some 
years later, made public re- 
joicing over the repeal of the 
Stamp A(5l. Here Benedicft 
Arnold, after Lexington, 
assembled the Governor's 
Guard, to lead them to Cam- 
bridge, to swell the patriot 
army ; here the citizens of a 
new republic crowded, to 
shout over the surrender of 
Cornwallis, and two years 
later, the gunners in long 
green gowns boomed the 
salutes for the treaty of peace 
with England. Here passed, 
in 185 1, the barouche which 
contained all the survivors of 
the Revolution who could be 
mustered for the Fourth of 
July parade. The year 
before that dirges were 

played here after President Taylor's death, and, ten years later, the Green was 
whitened by the recruiting tents of the Townsend Rifles ; and the boys of the 
three months' regiments made their first bivouac here ; too many, alas ! after- 
ward finding the "bivouac of death" on Southern fields. Here the New 
Haven branch of the Sanitary Commission was organized, and its chairman, 
Mr. Alfred Walker, sent out two hundred and eighty-seven boxes in the first 
month. In the State House, the New Haven Soldiers' Aid Association met for 
three years. 

Under the trees, collations were given to returning soldiers, and sad crowds 
assembled to witness the funeral honors paid to New Haven's sons : to Theodore 
Winthrop, so early sacrificed ; to General Terry and Commodore Foote, lost 
when ripened by experience. Great was the rejoicing when " the cruel war 
was over." Thousands assembled to cheer the news of the fall of Petersburg 
and Richmond. Then in the midst of joy came the blow of L,incoln's assassina- 

IHl': IKANKIJN Ki.^r. 


The New Haven Greeri. 

tion, and a greater and a sadder crowd hurried back to the old Green than it 
has ever seen gathered for any other occasion. Then, on the steps of the State 
House, Dr. Leonard Bacon voiced the lamentation of a city bereaved of its 
national head, and the elms sighed over a horror-stricken multitude. 

It seems safe to feel that, after such a history, as long as life remains in the 
city, the ' ' heart of New Haven ' ' will beat on in its old place. 


The Center Church in New Haven has been fitly called a ' ' time-piece of 
the centuries," and the stranger who worships there may well find his eyes 

roving over the dial marks 
on its venerable walls. 

In mediaeval times the 
church walls displayed the 
pidlured Bible story to all 
who entered ; this church in 
the New World bears a syn- 
opsis of a colony's history. 

Over the entrance is a 
concise statement of the 
main facts of the founding 
of the town. This tablet 
was prepared by the Rev. 
Dr. Leonard Bacon before 
he retired from his a(5live 
ministry, and, in a small 
space, it is significant with 
the story of the ' ' coeval 
beginning of the church and 
town." On a corner of the 
building is a tablet bearing 
the dates of the four suc- 
cessive buildings which have 
sheltered an unbroken suc- 
cession of worshippers from 
the organization until now — 
1640, 1670, 1757, 1814. 

Thus this spot is hal- 
lowed by the continuous 
public worship of more than 
two centuries and a half. 


The first simple strudlure, a few yards in front of the present building, 
was the center to which all turned to hear the illustrious London divines, or 


A New Haven Church. 


for discussion of the questions, theological, political and social, which agitated 
that miniature world. 


Hither came up the Sabbath worshippers at the first and second beating 
of the drum ; and woe to the careless or irreverent wight who was late, or 


A New Haven Church. 


O O C 





O O c 

absent from the service. He was promptly rebuked and fined, even when pro- 
vided with excuses such as clothes wet in Saturday's rain, and no fire by which 
to dry them ! 

Here paced the 
sentinels armed 
against Indian attack, 
and here resounded 
Sternhold and Hop- 
kins's version of the 
Psalms, "lined off." 
Alas ! we learn 
that not the force of 
exhortation and ex- 
ample, nor the 
solemnity of danger, 
could altogether 
counteract the evil 
suggestions lurkingin 
" water myllions."* 
Here it was that the children were huddled on the pulpit stairs during the 
service. Not even the thunders of pulpit eloquence nor the chill of a fireless 
house sufficed to restrain the irrepressible spirit of childhood ; after divers 
long-continued public efforts to stop the disturbance, the children were wisely 
sent back to their parents. 

Here it was that the Sabbath offerings in wampum and the fruits of their fields 
were taken to the deacons' seat. Here it was that Davenport, when it was 
known that the messengers of the King would soon be at hand, eager to search 
for the regicides. Col. Whalley and Col. Goffe, uttered his brave words of exhor- 
tation to "entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels 
unawares." The preacher afterward proved the sincerity of his words by 
sheltering the fugitives in his own house for a month. What coolness, and 
sagacity, and courage were exhibited by that tiny colony in that crisis ! Here 
it was that, somewhat later, the messengers of the King were edified in the midst 
of their search for the judges by another Sabbath discourse by Davenport on the 
text: " Hide the outcasts ; bewray not him that wandereth ; let mine outcasts 
dwell with thee, Moab ; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler. ' ' 

t See Foot Note. 

* " Wm. Pert was warned to the Court for taking water myllions one Lords day out of Mr. 
Hooks lot his answere was that his Mr sent him to see whether there were any hoggs within 
the fence and to bring home a watter milion with him he being bidd to goe through Mr. Hooks 
lott after the Saboth he tooke 2 watter milions he said it was the first act of his in this kind 
and hoped it would be the last. For his unrighteousnesse & profanesse of his sperit & way so 
soone thus to doe after the Saboth he was to be publiquely corrected although moderatly 
because his repentance did appeare." — Early Records of New Haven. 

t This and the nine following cuts are fac-similes of the memorial tablets on the walls of 
the audience room. 

A New Haven Church. 


Fearlessness so magnificent as that must have made the home government quite 
willing to act against New Haven when the charter struggle came up. 

Among the worshippers in the 

8orn in ■Soui-tompton €iiglm(li60) 
A Winitp CoUfge Otfort-teso 
Ccacljer of tl)is Cburfl; 1644-1656 

CDapliim I'O'OliMer CTomuielland- 
/naai'etofl-bf SaxioyTiospihal- (■ill- 
tlje-clos? of'H)e Comroonuiealtl;- 

He-died lllaTfl) 21 -167* 
Iii8 Ttmaing-rtst-ir -8unl)ill 5iPli 
^ -nonclon 



second house of God was that "James 
Davids ' ' around whom lingered a halo 
of mystery ; for his dignity, his reserve, 
his evident culture and means made the 
curious surmise, what was disclosed after 
his death, that he was John Dixwell, 
one of the three judges. His grave is 
immediately back of the church, and 
there may be seen what is left of the origi- 
nal headstone. The inscription was : 
"J. D., Esqr. 
Deceased March y'= i8th in y" 82" year 
of his age, 1688-9." 
The monument erected in 1847 by 
the descendants of Dixwell, commemo- 
rates their appreciation of the kindness 
shown to their distinguished ancestor by 

the inhabitants of New Haven, and sets forth the main fadts of his career. 

On the rear wall is a tablet in memory of a man second to Eaton only, 

Stephen Goodyear, the first deputy governor, who is buried in London ; and 

another which explains that 

until 1796 the first churchyard 

was here, extending from the 

church to College street. 

The third building, known 

as the "brick meeting-house," 

seems to have been removed, 

not on account of age or decay, 

but because increasing prosper- 
ity demanded something larger 

and better. The present one on 

the same spot", claims one's inter- 
est more for its associations than 

for pretensions to architedlural 

beauty. True to the London 

origin of the early settlement, 

this church was built with St. 

Martin' s-in-the-Fields, on Trafalgar Square, as its model. 

At the rear of the church are more tablets ; one in memory of Theophilus 

Eaton, the first governor of the colony, who died in 1657, and is buried near 

the church wall, outside of the pulpit window. This was the successful Lon- 


W Ricbolas Street. ^ 

5ecot)d Pastor of tbis Cburct) 
Bono 19 Son)erset5l)ire^Ei>glai)cl.ii) l603 
a graduate of Oxford UpWersitY ir) l625 
Pastor of the Q)urcY) 19 Taur)tor),An5s. 

1637 to 1657 Associated with) 

ReVjotjr) Da'^epport asleacljerip tt)5 

Q)urch).5ept26«l» I659. to April. I668. 

aod tbep F^5tor mrtil 1^15 <katt> Apnl 22i* l674 

He wa5 a Godly. Modest apdj udicious Aap, 

apd tbe first Pastor w^)0 died ip 

^ tbe5CT\/iceof tbi5Q)urcFj (^ 



A Neiv Haven Church. 


Born at Roitbury Moss. Jan^ 4th l639 

a g'raduatt* of Harvard College m 1^81 

w»« ordnined pastor of this church 

July 2nd l68 5 

• nd having ministered-faithfully here 30 years 

died Nov*' 22nd IJII 

■ nd is buried beneath ihis edifice 

He was one of the Tuunders of Yale College 

Hij gracious ^ifls of fervent piety 

persuasive eloquence and winning tnaoneps 

were devoutly- spent in the service 

of his Lord and Master 


don "merchant of great credit and fashion," who, in company with Davenport, 

the friend of his childhood, led the company of pioneers from London to Quin- 

nipiack. He was the son of a 
famous minister of Coventry, 
had been in business, had trav- 
eled extensively, and had repre- 
sented Charles I at the court of 

He had with good advan- 
tage more than once stood before 
kings; his "princely face and 
port," his judgment and aston- 
ishing equanimity, his sincere 
religion, made such an impres- 
sion on his generation that only 
death ended his governorship of 
eighteen years. 

His was one of the houses 
" better than those of Boston," 
which astonished visitors by 
their size and comfort ; his 
' ' Turkey carpets, and tapestry 

carpets and rugs," his servants, and generally opulent style of living are matters 

of record. 

The loss of property, 

the trials caused by a 

phenomenally ill-tempered 

wife, by disappointed 

hopes, and by the death of 

his loved ones, were all 

met with the fortitude ex- 
pressed in his lofty maxim, 

" Some count it a great 

matter to die well, but I am 

sure it is a greater matter 

to live well." 

The monument which 

showed the honor in which 

Eaton was held by his 

townsmen has been re- 
moved to the Grove Street 


In the vestibule of the 

church may be seen the names of the one hundred and twenty who sleep below. 

On entering, one is taken to the past by memorial brasses, and the light streams 



BORN IN STONtNGTON OCT. 16,1688. * DIED JUNE 14,1761. 

1716 1761 

His Ministry was marked by ecclesiasttc&l 
controversies, and by social and political changes, 
which led to the formation of a second Church, the 
establishment of a separate worship in. Yale College 
and the organization of an Episcopal Church. 

By his sag-acity and prudence 
he retained to old age the confidence 
and affection of those who remained 
faithful to this, the Mother Church. 




A New Haven Church. 


Chauncey Whittelsey 

A gratliiate of and instructor in Yale College 
a member of the CoJonial Assembly and in 

other Public Trusts from 1738 to 1756. 

Fifth Pastor o f this Church frpm 1758 to 1787. 

His Piety and Eloquence made him dear lo 

his people.and with his rirmness and DDCisJon 

enabled him to discharge the duties of (he 

pastoral office vnth fiaolity and dignity 

during the struggle of the Revolution 

He died July 24th VTBl, in the 70rh year of 

his a^e and the 30th of his thintstry. 

o o 


His remains rest in the crypt of this Church 


through the window which tells in color the story of the first sermon ' ' in the 

wilderness ' ' of New Haven. 

The "colonial" set- 
ting frames the historic 
scene. John Davenport, 
under the cross-vaulting 
of the noble oak, dressed 
as befitted the dignity of 
his position, in velvet, 
with cloak hanging on 
his shoulder, seems to 
point with uplifted hand 
to that continuing city 
which his hearers knew 
they had not yet found. 
The white-haired but 
sturdy Eaton leaning on 
his gun while reverently 
bowing to the preacher's 
words, the armed men, 

and the women and children ready to share the peril and the enthusiasm of 

the new enterprise, give the whole story of the mingled devotion and warfare 

which characterized the New 

England settler's life. At the 

base, the seven-branched candle- 
stick and the seven columns 

symbolize the famous "seven 

pillars ' ' who were chosen in the 

meeting in Robert Newman's 

barn in 1639, thus beginning the 

church in New Haven. They 

were Theophilus Eaton, John 

Davenport, Robert Newman, 

Matthew Gilbert, Thomas 

Fugill, John Punderson, and 

Jeremiah Dixon.* 

On the right is the record 

of the life of the leader of the 

colony, John Davenport, B. D. 

(Oxon, 1625). 

* This beautiful window is the gift of Mr. E. Hayes Trowbridge, in memory of his father, 
Ezekiel Hayes Trowbridge, a descendant of one of the founders of the church. The design, 
so happy in conception and execution, was made l)y Lauber, and the work was personally 
superintended by Louis Tiffany. The two thousand three hundred and twenty pieces which 
compose it melt in the sunlight into a rich picture, and modern art once more unites with filial 
respect to perpetuate the memory of the past. 

1786 - 1858 

Pastor of this churrh 

t8l2 - 1822 

Professor of ThtoloQv in Tate Collrgr 

1822- IB^ja 

J\s Pastor faithful to hii Hastfr 

anit briourd by his propit 

^s Prfarhtrof tlif riifrlflsrinfl Goaprl 

bold frninit and surtfssful 

.As Studtnt anilTVarhfr of Christian Thfolojy 

Pnrpminfnt in his Gfnpration 

^ iaYYYYVYvyyyyvxxDtriQOQOQgi- 


A New Haven Church. 

There comes to the minds' eye the early home in leafy Warwickshire, in the 
days when Shakespeare was alive, the scholar's haunts at Oxford, the crowds 

listening to the brilliant young 
preacher at St. Stephen's, the stress 
of parting with home and friends, 
the weary voyage, the high hopes 
of a model commonwealth, the 
disappointments, the end of all in 
another home. 

He seems to have liked to have 
his own way ; perhaps his dis- 
appointments were as deep as his 
hopes were high ; but he was lofty 
in nature, high-bred and scholarly. 
His unabated love of study won 
for him from the Indians the name 
of "big study man." That in 
those times he left more than a 
thousand dollars' worth of books 
shows how large a place they held in his esteem. He was one of the most 
learned of the seventy English divines who migrated hither ; and, more than 
that, was in advance of his fellow emigrants, for he was ready to cast off alle- 
giance to the King and Parliament, 
and so to establish an independent 
state. His work was not in vain, 
we can see now, and the impress of 
his character has not yet faded from 
the city that he founded. 

On the south side of the church 
is the tablet to William Hooke, the 
friend and chaplain of Cromwell. 
He was in the church in the wilder- 
ness for twelve years as ' ' teacher, ' ' 
an office for some time co-existent 
with that of preacher, a token of 
the thoroughness of the religious 
training of the colonists. He was a 
gentle, scholarly man, who must 
have been also fervid in his pulpit 

oratory. His sermons may still be read ; they had such ear-catching titles as 
"New England's Teares for Old England's Feares." Cromwell was his wife's 
cousin, and Whalley was her brother. The learned Hooke, driven from England 
on account of religious opinion, was led by his intimate friendship with the 
Great Protector to return during the Commonwealth to that land which he called 
" Old England, dear England still in divers respects, left indeed by us in our 

Lt>onard Baron 

asfrioanl of Jfiii'j CJirisI nnd of all mfn 
for His siihf.lifrr prrarhdl Ihf Go!>ppl for 
fifty ^fiifii Ufar<;. Vrarmg Cod nntt iDiuina 
no ftarHf'.ldr.louiTiij rlonlroii'irit'i':. nnd 
halinj ininultv.fririitl of Librrty and laio. 
hflprr ofChrislian mi«ioii'i,lrarhfr of 
(fachrrs.pcomotfr of pu?ry good morh. 
hf bipsoffl thf City and thp Nation bv 
rfasrifss lahor^ and a holy life, and dc- 
Oanrd pfarpfullv into rtsl.bftrmbfr 24. 
issi.irauing inp morld bdlpr for his 
hauing hi'Pd in it. 


A New Haven Church. 


persons, but never yet forsaken in our affections." There he was domestic 
chaplain to Cromwell in his palace of Whitehall, and was master of the Savoy- 
Hospital, an institution noted for its connecflion with the "Savoy Confession" 
of the Congregationalists, and as having been the episcopal palace of lyondon. 
But the sun of his prosperity sank with the Commonwealth. After a few years 
the Commonwealth was a thing of the past, and Hooke spent the rest of his 
life in more or less danger, resting at last in Bunhill Fields, the " Westminster 
Abbey of the Puritans." 

His parting gift to the church which he loved was his "home lot, " on the 
southwest corner of College and Chapel streets, " to be a standing maintenance 
either towards a teaching officer, 
schoolmaster, or the benefit of the 
poor in fellowship." 

This was one of the inducements 
which influenced the choice of the 
abiding place of the struggling, peri- 
patetic college. The church finally 
leased it to the college for nine 
hundred and ninety-nine years. It 
was the plan of Davenport that the 
" rector's house " should stand there ; 
and there lived all the rectors and 
presidents of Yale, from Cutler to 
the elder Dwight. 

Near by is the tablet for Nicholas 
Street, the third Oxonian on the list. 
His early history was for a long time 
uncertain, but we now know that he 
was matriculated at Oxford when eighteen (2 Nov., 162 1 ?), and that he was the 
son of "Nicholas Streate of Bridgewater, gent," who owned "the ancient 
estate in Rowbarton near Taunton," according to a will dated Nov. i, 1616. 
This estate had formed part of the manor of Canon Street, which belonged to 
the Priory of Taunton before the dissolution of the monasteries, and it is now 
absorbed in the city of Taunton, a name which must have been pleasant in his 
ears in the New World. 

He it was who said, in time of perplexing negotiations, ' ' The answer 
should be of faith, and not of fear." His son was for nearly forty-five years 
pastor in Wallingford, and the Augustus Street who gave the building to the 
Yale Art School was a lineal descendant, another instance of the momentum 
given by the desire of the founders to make New Haven a collegiate town. 

Around Mr. Pierpont's name associations cluster thickly. He was the first 
American-born pastor, he passed nearly all his public life here, and harmony and 
success attended him. To be sure, he was early and often a widower, but he was 
fortunate in seledling all three wives from the highest families of the little land, as 
became one who is said to have been nearly connedled with the Earls of Kingston. 




IR mmn of 


Beloved AS A Pastor < 


Graduated AT Yale CoLLEGE-ngo 

Pastor OF THIS Church isofa-iaio 

Professor OF Sacred Literature in< 


Sndovcr Mass isio-m.o 

DIED IN 1852 




A New Haven Church. 

That is a pathetic little story about his bride, the granddaughter of John 
Davenport, going to church on a chill November day, arrayed according to the 
custom for the first Sunday after marriage, in her wedding-gown, catching cold, 
and dying in three months. 

We can see the pretty girl entering the little, bare meeting-house, flushed 
with pleasure and pride in the new position of wife of the handsome j'oung 
minister, a position that she might almost feel she had inherited ; and then, pale 
with cold, trying to make her neighbors' furtive and admiring glances at her 
finery take the place of the good log-fire she had left at home, and unflinchingly 
disdaining to outrage propriety by leaving before the service was finished. Poor 
thing ! She did not foresee that that winter's snows would enwrap her in the 
adjoining burying-ground. 

But Mr. Pierpont recovered from the blow, and married, two years later, Sarah 
Haynes, of Hartford, a granddaughter of Governor Haynes ; but she died a little 
more than two years after, and again he married a Hartford girl, granddaughter of 

"■ ■^"^"^" ■ 






'ii:y.: /::-> ::^' . 

■ ::■-/■ : -.. .-.■: -^h'-..-.- 


-■. -■ ■■■ -9. 




























HCii3*H:.-„^i;^t.™4. --. ;--,i5£- — -- 









the renowned Rev. Thomas Hooker, the pastor and leader of the Connecticut col- 
ony. She survived Mr. Pierpont many years. For him was built, by the contribu- 
tions of the people, that spacious house which stood for a hundred years on the 
corner of Temple and Elm streets, and it was as a gift to the young pastor that 
the " Pierpont Elms," long the oldest in the city, were brought from Hamden. 

Mr. Pierpont' s surest title to remembrance is that he was " one of the 
founders of Yale College." He was one of the famous ten ministers who made 
the memorable contribution of volumes from their own scanty stock to found a 
college library. He was indefatigable in building up that which he had begun, 
and it was on account of his persuasions, exercised through Mr. Dummer, Con- 
necticut agent in London, that Elihu Yale sent the gift which made his name a 
household word. 

But his influence on the college world did not stop there. The alliance of 
the Hooker and the Pierpont families was notable in itself, but was made still 
more illustrious in their descendants. The daughter of James Pierpont and 

A New Haven Church. 


Mary Hooker, the beautiful and saintly Sarah, married the great Jonathan 
Edwards. Thus Mr. Pierpont was the ancestor of the second President Jonathan 
Edwards, of the elder President Dwight, of President Woolsey, of the present 
honored President Dwight, of Theodore Winthrop, and of a brilliant array of 
distinguished members of the families bearing those names. 

The name of Mr. Noyes brings up the religious disputes in which party 
feeling ran high and divisions, literal and figurative, were the result. Of him 
it has been wittily said that his force seemed to be chiefly centrifugal ; but who 
could have been a determining center for so erratic an outburst of ' ' new lights ' ' 
and " old " as disturbed the theological-political firmament in his time ? 

Mr. Noyes was the son and grandson of ministers in New England, and he 


'^ a portion of ,h.„,i5i„.,B,„,i' 

place of New Have- u.tdfr™^ 

1638 tin IS21. 

The earliest date oj a burial m-cribed 

on these old stones is 1687 the l«ie,t 

In 1S21 the graves outside olthf««3ll> 
were levelled, the monuments ind 
headstones removed to the Cme St. . . 

Thi. Cryp. - 


. Hou*' 

i-,.f Mee""-""" ifiSS. 

J in 166S- Tlx- ^^a.dicai'-''- 


had ofiiciated with great success as instructor in the young college for five years 
before becoming pastor. 

All these men were scholars, easily and frequently reading the Bible in its 
original languages for greater clearness in explanation. Their salaries were 
delivered to them in such fruits of the earth, or houses and lands, as their 
parishioners could muster in that age of barter. 

The benign Mr. Whittelsey came with tranquilizing effedl on the distraught 
people ; but instead of church controversies, he had to guide his flock through 
the momentous conflicfl with the mother state, and "old lights" and "new 
lights" burned together in one steady flame of patriotism. It was to the 
' ' brick meeting-house ' ' that Wooster marched his men for a final ministerial 


A Neiv Haven Church. 

benedidtion ; and there, after waiting outside until informed of the absence of 
Mr. Whittelsey, he led them into the church, ascended the pulpit, and himself 
expounded to his soldiers those holy words which he deemed would fortify them 
best ; then, in unbroken order, they marched out across the Green, and so away 
to war. 

Mr. Whittelsey belonged to the "Brahmin caste," being the son of an able 
minister and the great-grandson of the noted President Chauncey of Harvard. 
He was " well acquainted with Latin, Greek and Hebrew — — and with the 

general cyclopaedia of literature, and amassed, by laborious reading, a 

great treasure of wisdom." " For literature he was in his day oracular at col- 
lege, for he taught with facility and success in every branch of knowledge." 

(Showing the oldest stone, the one marked 1687). 

Through all the troubles of the Revolution, the Sabbath service failed not 

Dr. Dana's ministry looked backward to the eighteenth century, forward 
to the nineteenth ; and struggles were in view on either side. To quote Dr. 
Smyth, ' ' Mr. Dana was a recognized champion of the old divinity, and behold ! 
a new divinity was already on the threshold of the century upon which he had 

The newcomer was Moses Stuart, whose brilliant talents made him a power, 
whether in New Haven or Andover. 

Dr. Taylor, so remarkable an expounder of theology that the church had 
to surrender him to the college, was one more of the long list of learned and 

A New Havett Church. 


profoundly moving divines whose memorials are here. In his pastorate, these 
present walls were reared. 

And of Dr. Bacon, born for leadership, what words can be more descriptive 
than the concise and beautiful lines that keep his memory fresh ? 

He explored the perishing records of the past and brought to our view 
those ancient divines, his predecessors, who live and move again in his pages. 
His energetic, enthusiastic nature communicated itself to all around him. 
From that pulpit he delivered his message to his people, and from it, after he 
had ceased to preside 
in it, he looked forth 
on the congregation, 
the fire not dimmed 
in his eye, wrapped in 
his fur-lined mantle, 
reminding one of the 
prophets of old. 

The communion 
silver belonging to 
this Church, and in 
present use, is itself 
worthy of a place in 
a collection of an- 
tiques, and it would be 
hard to find its equal 
in this country. All 
of the cups are the 
gifts of individuals, 
and eight of them are 
of historic interest 
and have been in use 
for many years. 

Probably the first 
gift of this kind to 
this church was the 
cup marked, " Given by Mr. Jno. Potler to N. haven chh." Records were not 
very complete then, but we know that John Potter, was at the famous meeting 
in Mr. Newman's barn, in 1639, and that he died in 1646, leaving an estate 
valued at £2^. Of this amount, nearly a sixth, £^, was diredled to the purchase 
of this cup. 

A pair of cups was probably given in a similar way by Henry Glover and 
his wife, Ellen. He died in 1689. The inscription is "The Gift of H. & E- 
Glover to y"^ chh. in N. hav." 

Another was given a little later by "Mrs. Ab. Mansfield," daughter of 
Thomas Yale. She bequeathed "four pounds in cash to be laid out by the 
deacons of said church to buy a cup for the use of the Lord's Table." 




34 A New Haven Church. 

Again we see, " The Gift of Jn" Hodson to N. Hav'n chh. 1690." John 
Hodshon, or Hudson, or Hodson, was a rich Barbadoes trader, who bequeathed 
to the church ^5 in silver to buy this cup. He is buried in the crypt below 
the church. 

One is "The Gift of Mrs. Abigail Davenport to the first chh. in New 
Haven. 1718." Mrs. Davenport was the daughter of the Rev. Abraham Pier- 
son, of Branford, sister of Abraham Pierson, the first rector of Yale, and wife 
of John Davenport, the only son of the Rev. John Davenport. She died in 
1 717, and bequeathed " unto the church of new haven, my silver caudle cup, 
desiring a cup to be made thereof for the service of the church." Very for- 
tunately, the last wish was not carried out, and the cup remains as it was in the 
days of the first rector of Yale. 

One inscription is decidedly abridged : " Abr. ') 

& VBroadley." 
Han. ) 

Abraham and Hannah Bradley were the givers. He was a deacon, and he 
died in 1718, bequeathing, with consideration for both church and wife, his silver 
cup to the former after the latter should have ceased to need it. 

About 1670, Captain John Prout came to New Haven from Devonshire, and 
there married Mrs. Mary Hall, daughter of Henry and Sarah Rutherford. In 
her will, in 1723, she left to the church "my two-handled silver cup marked 
^ ^l',, That mark indicates that the cup once belonged to her father and mother. 

Lovers of the antique regret that several other cups presented in a similar 
manner were " made over " in 1833. Three of those now in use appear to have 
been made from two tankards given by Mr. Francis Brown and Mrs. Sarah 
Diodati, in 1762. Another old cup thus subjedled to the refining influences of 
the melting-pot was given earlier by Mrs. Lydia Rosewell, a daughter of 
Thomas Trowbridge. 

They are all two-handled cups, of graceful design and varying size, and 
many of them are delicately ornamented. Some of them have adorned the 
corner cupboards and have been used on the tables of the first " colonial 
dames. ' ' There is an enticing story that one of them was brought hither in 
the Hector as part of the household furniture of John Davenport himself ; but 
the spirit of research is relentless, and the mark tells a different tale. But that 
very mark, while it takes away, adds historic interest ; for that and five other 
pieces were made by John Dixwell, the regicide's son, who was a silversmith in 
Boston, and they bear his initials, " I. D.," in an oval or heart-shaped die. 

A curious tale hangs by the christening basin, of solid beaten silver. In 
the last century, Jeremiah Atwater, a worshipper in the old church, wished to 
repair his house, and for that purpose bought a keg of nails of a Boston dealer. 
On opening it, something more than iron nails was found, even a large quantity 
of silver dollars. Jeremiah Atwater was honest, and tried to return the dollars 
to the seller, but he in his turn disclaimed any right to that which he had 
neither bought nor sold, and so the treasure-trove was unclaimed and unused 
until 1735, when Mr. Atwater felt his end approaching and bequeathed the coin 

A Neiv Haven Church. 35 

to the church. From it was made this capacious basin, twelve inches in 
diameter, three inches deep, and more than two pounds in weight. 

Imagination revels in the mystery which wraps the former state of those 
silver dollars. Were they the hoard of a miser, the birthright of an orphan, or 
the booty of a robber ? Surely, if there were any original stain of guilt con- 
ne<5ted with this baptismal bowl, it has long ago been purified by the presence 
of innocent little ones and the prayers of holy men. 

And yet one more bit of romantic history clings to this ancient communion 

A certain Deacon Ball was its custodian at the time of the British raid on 
the town, in 1779. Everyone was trying to secure his most valued goods from 
destru(5lion, and Deacon Ball, loyal to his trust, racked his brain to find a hiding- 
place for the church silver. At last, the chimney was thought of, and his little 
girl was lifted up to secrete the precious charge in the sooty recesses. The 
house was searched, Mrs. Ball's gold beads were taken, but the silver was not 
discovered — and was brought forth afterwards for its continued sacred use. 

And thus, enriched by the hallowed use of many generations, those tokens 
of the devotion of the forefathers and the foremothers towards the worship they 
struggled to establish and to maintain, are still here, and help us to people the 
past with living figures. 

In one respect, the Center Church is unique among American churches ; it 
has a crypt. It is not like the vault of the Stuyvesant family under St. 
Mark's, in New York, which is so remote in the ground that a long and com- 
plicated process of removing flagstones is necessary before one of the Stuyve- 
sants can rest with his ancestors. This simply means that when the present 
building was planned to stand on the site of its predecessor, its greater size 
made it necessary to extend it over some of the graves of the old, adjacent 
church-yard, or to obliterate such tokens of the early days. Fortunately, the 
former course was adopted, and consequently, when we have descended to this 
strange place, we find ourselves transported to colonial times. The light of a 
nineteenth century sun streams through the low windows over grave-stones 
which were wept over before the Anglo-Saxon race had achieved its supremacy 
on this continent ; before the struggle for life had abated sufficiently to allow 
thoughts of a struggle for independence ; over dust which had been animated by 
the docftrinal quarrels, the political ambitions, the religious hesitation and daring 
which make the men and women of that time so interesting to us. 

The stones are thickly set, as if all had desired to sleep close under the 
protedlion of the church they had loved in life. Slabs and tablets of native 
stone, and in many cases of the finer foreign stones, stand in close array, but 
in a strange, diagonal fashion, at variance with all the lines of the building. 
There is a " method in the madness," and one is almost tempted to feel that 
those sturdy souls disdained to lay their bodies in conformity to any supersti- 
tious ideas as to the points of compass. 

Owing to the generosity and zeal of Mr. Thomas R. Trowbridge, who has 
also promoted the placing of the tablets on the walls above, and who is a lineal 

36 A Neiv Haven Church. 

descendant of many buried here, all has been put in order ; the roughened ground 
has been smoothed and covered with cement, and the inscriptions have been 
made legible where time has taken off their first sharpness. One wanders among 
these stone memorials with the feeling that they are secure now from wind and 
storm for many a year. 

In such places, one seeks the oldest stone. In this case, it is a low, time- 
eaten slab, marking the death of "Mrs. Sarah Trowbridge, Deceased January 
the 5th, Aged 46, 1687." 

Not far away lie the grandfather and grandmother of President Hayes, and 
here is the first wife of Benedidt Arnold, of whom it is said that her influence 
might have kept him from his dastardly a6t. Still it was probably a happy fate 
that carried her away early, before the world had seen those traits which were 
undoubtedly quite too evident to her. 

The early members of the Trowbridge family were clustered close in death. 
Of the one hundred and thirty-nine persons buried here, twenty-five are Trow- 
bridges. He whose gravestone reads thus : 

" Here Lyeth Intere'' 

The Body of Thomas 

Trowbridge Esquire 

• Aged 70 Years Deceased 

The 22'' of August 

Anno Domini 


was the son of the Thomas Trowbridge who, born in Taunton, England, was 
one of the original settlers of New England, and his name is perpetuated to this 
day in his lineal descendants. He married Sarah Rutherford in 1657. Near 
him is the Thomas Trowbridge of the next generation. He ' ' departed this 
life" in 171 1, and his wife, Mary, did not rest beside him until thirty-one years 

And here is "Mr. Caleb Trowbridge who departed this life Septem' y*^ loth 
Anno Do. 1704." 

At a little distance is a curious stone, repeating in the warning " sic transit 
gloria mundi," the lesson of a faintly sculptured sun-dial. Beneath lies " Capt. 
Joseph Trowbridge," who died in 1749. 

A very plump and happy cherub smiles from the stone over Mrs. Sarah 
Whiting, the daughter of Jonathan Ingersoll, of Milford ; and it seems to show 
the glad contrast between her "wearisome pilgrimage" and her "joyful hope 
of a glorious immortality." 

Everyone who examines old gravestone inscriptions must be struck by the 
evidence that the next world seemed very near to the people of those times, 
that its joys grew real in proportion as the discomforts of the present life were 

A New Haven Church. 


Several of the monuments are in the table form and bear long inscriptions. 
One commemorates the a(5tive career of Jared Ingersoll, a man of distinguished 
position and ability, who died in 1781, " having been judge of the Court of Vice- 
Admiralty, twice Agent for Connedticut at the Court of Great Britain. He was 
a Man of uncommon Genius, which was cultivated by a liberal education at 
Yale College and improved by the Study of mankind." Of these means of men- 
tal and spiritual advancement, certainly the third, perhaps demanding the least 
outlay of money and yet often the most costly, is open to us all. 

Here is another table, with delicately carved legs, bearing an inserted plate 
of finer stone on which are the names of James Abraham Hillhouse and his wife, 
"Madam " Hillhouse, the uncle and aunt of Senator James Hillhouse. 

In this quiet place is the dust of three of the early, historic pastors of the 
church ; Pierpont, " an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, who being 
fervent in spirit ceased not for y'' space of 30 years to warn every one day and 
night w"' tears," the whole ending quaintly with " Anag. Pie repone te ;" 
Noyes, "patient in tribulation & abundant in labors;" and Whittelsey, who, 
like Goldsmith's parson, " exemplified the more excellent way." 

It is interesting to note the difference between the inscriptions on these 
tables of stone which breathe the feelings of the contemporary friends and recount 
those adls and qualities which were important in their eyes ; and those words in 
the church above, where, on tablets of brass, is recorded the calm judgment of 
the men of to-day. In the first, we feel the sense of present and personal loss, 
caused by the removal from the community of an acknowledged power ; in the 
second, we read the verdicfl of time on what each has done for the world's 

38 A Nezv Haven Church. 

Below the lines in memory of Mr. Pierpont are the following : 

" Also Mrs. Mary 
the 3rd wife 

of the above Rev. 
Mr. James Pierpont, who 
died November ist, 1740 

^tatisSuse 68." 

She was the daughter of the Rev. Thomas Hooker and the mother of Mrs. 
Jonathan Edwards. Although Madam Noyes was buried in Wethersfield, she has 
an epitaph beneath that of Mr. Noyes. She was a rare woman. The daughter of 
the Rev. James Pierpont and Sarah Haynes, she had many advantages of inherited 
respedt and of education, and she was, withal, so wise and gracious, so absorbed 
in well-doing, that she was revered throughout her life, even by those who dis- 
liked Mr. Noyes. She was so much interested in the education of the young 
that she opened a free school in her own house, and left, by her will, a sum for 
the future instrudion of children. She gave a farm of three hundred and fifty 
acres in Farmington, Conn., to the church, and the money derived therefrom 
forms part of the Ministerial Fund. 

There are children here, too ; three little baby Sybyl Trowbridges ; and 
there is a singular group of four Sarah I^ymans — one seventy-five years old, one 
twenty-seven years, one one year, and one one month — and all dying within 
two years. 

Next to the Trowbridges, the Whittelseys were brought here in greatest 
number, eight in all, while there are many Allings and IngersoUs, and members 
of the family of Hays, or Hayz. Two sisters, daughters of Samuel Broome, rest 
beneath one table-stone, which bears twin epitaphs ; and near by is the stone of 
Mrs. Katherine Dana, the wife of the Rev. Dr. Dana, marked by a slab of fine 
slate with a relief of an urn with drooping handles, all very delicately carved, 
and as fresh as if placed here yesterday instead of more than a hundred years 

It is hard to find poor spelling, and the epitaphs are almost without excep- 
tion refined and dignified. The last burial was in 1812, that of Mrs. Whittelsey, 
widow of the Rev. Chauncey Whittelsey. 

One unobtrusive stone brings to mind a woman whose expressed wish has 
been felt in ever deepening and widening circles — Hester Coster, who is so 
curiously connedted with the establishment of Yale in New Haven. 

It was Davenport's original intention to devote the land at the corner of 
Chapel, and College streets to the college which they wished to have speedily. 
In the vicissitudes of the seventeenth century, it was sold and used for a building 
lot ; Joshua Atwater, a merchant from London, and one of the first settlers, had 
it ; then William Tuttle bought it ; and after his death it was sold to the widow 
Hester Coster. She died in 1691, and, by her will, left the property to the 
' ' First Church of Christ, New Haven, to be improved toward the maintaining of 

A New Haven Church. 39 

a lecture in New Haven in the spring and fall of the year." For a few years, 
the church leased the property, but in 1717, under a power given by her will, 
sold it to the "trustees, partners, and undertakers for the Collegiate School." 

For, in 17 16, a decision was made as to the situation of the college which 
had such a struggle for its infant existence ; in choosing New Haven, a condition 
was made that the ' ' Coster lot ' ' and the ' ' Hooke lot ' ' should be acquired by 
the college ; the condition was granted, and that inducement prevailed over 
those held out by other aspirants for the honor, and thus Yale was placed in the 
City of Elms rather than in Wethersfield or Saybrook. Thus did the wishes of 
the English divine and the country dame unite in producing results greater than 
they could have even dared to hope for. One wonders how Hester Coster looked, 
talked, and lived, whether she was a forerunner of the strong-minded woman, 
wishing to enforce herself on the coming generations, or one of the gentle ones 
who become inspired with the desire of throwing their all into the treasury of 
the pressing public need. Just this one flash-light is thrown on her, and then 
all is dark. The inscription is : 

M" Hester Coster 

Aged 67 Deceased 

April y'= 6'" 1691. 

It would be hard to speak of this church without referring to its intimate 
connedlion with Yale University. Among their grand plans for the future was 
always the darling hope of the pastors and people that the colony should be a 
college town. A college lot was set aside from the first, and in spite of many 
vicissitudes and disappointments, it was that which was finally used. Davenport 
was full of zeal for education, wishing "all children in his colony to be brought 
up in learning." He would have rejoiced to know that Connedticut was to have 
the first school fund. For a long time the projedl seemed doomed to disappoint- 
ment for reasons both external and internal, but Davenport never gave up hope 
or effort. In the fifth year of the colony the settlers began to send contributions 
of corn to Harvard, and Eaton gave money toward the buildings required at 
Cambridge. In 1647, the attempt was made to start the college in the house 
oifered by Deputy-Governor Goodyear, who is commemorated by the tablet on 
the rear of the church, but a remonstrance came from the Cambridge people, 
who said that they could not support their young institution if the New Haven 
assistance should be withdrawn. 

New Haven yielded for a time, but the matter was annually discussed in 
public meetings, and was always near the heart of the people. The impulse 
given by Davenport's fixed purpose was felt long after his removal and death, 
and well has it been said, " As long as the college stands, the name of John 
Davenport, that pioneer in the promotion of the higher education, should be 
remembered by its alumni with reverence and gratitude." 

When, after all the discussions with other towns, the efforts of Davenport 
and Hooke and Street and Pierpont resulted in the three-story building on the 
Coster lot, facing the redlor's house on the Hooke lot, it was natural that the 

40 A New Haveyi Church. 

little band of students should form part of the pastor's flock, that the meeting- 
house should be the scene of all public occasions for the college, and that the 
growth and prosperity of one institution should be linked with those of the 

Since the removal of the college to New Haven, until 1895, ^11 commence- 
ments, all inauguration of presidents, besides many other ceremonies, have been 
celebrated within the First Church walls. So, for nearly a century and three- 
quarters, the Center Church and its predecessors "have been like college build- 
ings in the memory of the alumni." Before even the venerable elms began to 
cast their shade over the scene, successive processions have marched to the same 
place, each class to be, in its turn, the absorbing interest, and each to take one 
step farther on in the world's progress, each to add one more to the accumulat- 
ing associations of the college. 

Commencement days have swung from September through August and July 
to June, the speakers have run the .scale of the learned languages, there have 
been classes small and large, but until two years ago the tide of diploma-seekers 
has never failed to flow in and out of those church doors. 

Hither came the proud parents, and hither flocked the pretty girls of suc- 
ceeding generations, decked in all the summer finery of each passing fashion, 
and here for more than a hundred years these descendants of the boys and girls 
who giggled on the pulpit stairs of the old first church, whispered composedly 
and outrageously straight through the long seasons of oratoric display, until the 
disturbance became so intolerable that the fiat went forth that men and women 
should sit on opposite sides of the church. Thus, and thus only, was the irre- 
pressible loquacity, aroused by listening to so much eloquence, repressed. 

Music was not introduced to relieve the proceedings until 1819, and it was 
not until 1846 that it ceased to be sacred in its character. What would the 
fathers have said to the sound of opera airs within those walls ! 

Great has been the change, too, in the intelledtual part of the programme. 
We hear of an early commencement called ' ' splendid ' ' by President Clap, and 
from that time on, the desire to secure places in the audience has been such that 
spurious tickets have been sometimes offered. To obviate fraud of that kind, 
the mysterious characfters since seen on commencement tickets were adopted. 
For a long time, until 1868, these eager spe<5lators and listeners patiently sat 
through two sessions in one day. In 1781, the walls of the predecessor of this 
building echoed to a Greek oration, an English colloquy, a forensic disputation, 
and an oration by President Stiles, in which he announced his opinions in 
Hebrew, Chaldaic and Arabic, followed by an English oration, all in the morn- 
ing. In the afternoon, the indefatigable and polyglot Dr. Stiles pronounced a 
" Eatin discourse," and a syllogistic dispute, a dissertation, a poem, and an 
oration gave the finishing touches to these learned feats. These syllogistic dis- 
putes, which had their day for sixty years, do not appear on the records after 
1787. They must have afforded something of that excitement which modern 
students find in the ball games. We learn that in 1730, they were given from 
the side galleries of the church, the disputants hurling the polished missiles of 

A New Haven Church. 41 

their logic from side to side with all the ardor of a struggle for life. The orators 
stood in the front gallery, and the " audience huddled below them to catch their 
Latin eloquence as it fell." 

Just forty years ago, in 1857, there were twenty-three speakers in the morn- 
ing and nineteen in the afternoon. All this speech-making proved a weariness 
to the flesh, and the male portion of the audience was often seen reclining on the 
grass outside in the shade of the elms, until such time as the sergeant-at-arms of 
the city should muster his forces on the Green, ready for the supreme moment 
of taking the degrees. 

Then all the hundreds from the different departments of the university into 
which the " collegiate school " has grown marched into the time-honored build- 
ing, up the steep steps of the temporary platform, each squad to decorously 
receive the sheepskins with the Latin speech, and each to divide and descend 
the side steps, at great risk of collision between heads and gallery beams, all to 
be instantly replaced by the next oncoming squad, until all were transformed 
from "seniors" to " educated gentlemen." All that has yielded to the varied 
array of caps and gowns. 

Long may the old church stand on the Green, to remind us of its part in 
history, to symbolize the character of New England, inspired by the, stand- 
ing firmly in the present, and ready to go forward to the future ! 


Cemetery, "newhavek. 

One hundred years ago, in July, 1796, that public-spirited citizen, James 
Hillhouse, caused the purchase and preparation of the burial ground known as 
the Grove Street Cemetery. His own body was laid there when his work was 
over ; and before him and after him have come to keep him company so many 
gifted and noble ones that with truth we read that " it is the resting-place of 
more persons of varied eminence than any other cemetery on this continent." 

The roll of honored names on its stones represents brain-power that has stirred 
the world and has done much to make the nineteenth century what it has been. 

The place seems dedicated to the fame of learning and of noble lives, and as 
it is still in use by the descendants of the original owners, the crumbling 
and the well-kept Present meet there very strikingly. 

It was the first burial ground in the world to be divided into " family lots," 
and every visitor must notice the prominence of the family feeling. Parents, 
children, and grandchildren are together ; those whose lives have been spent 
elsewhere have sought burial with their kindred, while the families that enjoyed 
sweet intercourse in scholarly pursuits and social courtesies are still neighbors 
in death. 

The Grove Street Cemetery. 


The wall and gates are severely Egyptian in style, but over the massive 
pylons at the entrance, the words, " The dead shall be raised," testify that to the 
ancient yearning for a life beyond the grave has succeeded the triumphant faith 
of Christianity. Within is the mortuary chapel, and the golden butterfly on its 
front again points every passer to the soul's release from the burden of the body. 

The cemetery is a quiet little square of seventeen acres, separating college 
halls on the one hand from the stir of business on the other. It is a cheerful 
city of the dead, with tall trees, high-trimmed, and with evidences of scrupulous 
care. Thoughtful visitors are always wandering along its avenues, peering here 
and there for tokens of the olden time, or for memorials of revered instructors 
and loved classmates. 

Let us walk down Cedar avenue, the " famous row." Here are pioneers of 
American scholarship, such as Benjamin Silliman, the elder, a man whose priv- 
ilege it was to be indeed a Nestor in science, to open the way to the wide fields 
we traverse freely. The little, low, gray laboratory has disappeared from the 
face of the Yale campus, but does not every one who sends a telegram owe thanks 
to Silliman and Morse that within its humble walls they persisted in the experi- 
ments which resulted in the great invention ? Professor Silliman was a keen 
observer, a delightful writer, a noble man ; his name honors the stone on which 
it is inscribed. His son and successor, Benjamin Silliman the younger, is in 


another part of the ground ; but in the same inclosure rests a Revolutionary 
dame, Mrs. Eunice Trumbull, " relict of Jonathan Trumbull, late Governor of 
Connecticut." She was the widow of the second governor of that illustrious 
family which contributed so much to the success of our war for independence, 


The Grove Street Cemetery. 

and she was the mother of Harriet Trumbull, who was the wife of Professor 
Silliman, and who lies here, too. Thus two families bearing the American 
patent of nobility, valor and learning, were united. 

The mantle fell on no less a man than James Dwight Dana, the great geolo- 
gist, who searched the secrets of the coral groves. His slight form and pure 
face, a presence seeming more spiritual than material, were a part of New Haven 
for many years. Now he rests here. 

Next is the grave of Jedidiah Morse, the " Father of American Geography." 
A shaft bears aloft a globe, commemorating the service that Morse did in placing 
geography in the realm of systematic knowledge. Any one who has seen a 
copy of Morse's first edition, two stout octavo volumes bound in calf, will be apt 
to deem it at least as far removed as a great-grandfather from its modern descend- 
ant, the floridly embellished and tersely written school geography. 

His work, which may have been called for by the needs of the girls' school 
which he had in New Haven the year after his own graduation in 1783, is many 


The Grove Street Cemetery. 


times amusing when the author least intends to afford diversion. The title page 
runs thus — 

Universal Geography 
or a 
View of the Present State 
of all the 
Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Republics 
in the known 
and of the 
United States of America in Particular." 
Some of the "particulars " are not un- 
pleasing reading for Connecticut people ; as 
for instance — " Connecticut is the most 
populous in proportion to its extent, of any 
of the thirteen states. A traveler, even in 
the most unsettled part of the state, will sel- 
dom pass more than two or three miles with- 
out finding a house or cottage and a farm 
under such improvement as to afford the 
necessaries for the support of a family." 

Again, " In no part of the world is the 
education of all ranks of the people more 
attended to than in Connecticut." 

The high regard in which the legal pro- 
fession has always been held here finds an 
explanation in its pages. "The people of 
Connecticut are remarkably fond of having 
all their disputes settled according to law. 
The prevalence of this litigious spirit affords 
employment and support for a numerous 
body of lawyers." But the lawyers were 
not to be left in undisputed possession of legal mysteries, for Morse says that, 
"In 1672 the laws of the colony were revised, and the general court ordered 
them to be printed, and also that every family should buy one of the law, 
books ; such as pay in silver to have a book for twelve pence, such as pay in 
wheat to pay a peck and a half a book, and such as pay in peas, to pay two 
shillings a book, the peas at three shillings the bushel." 

How intimately the pursuit of agriculture and the book trade were associ- 
ated in those days ! Morse sagely remarks, " Perhaps it is owing to the early 
and universal spread of law books that the people of Connecticut are to this 
day so fond of the law." 

This is his testimony for the state which had the first school fund: "A 



The Grove Street Cemetery. 


thrift for learning prevails among all ranks of people in the state. In no part 
of the world is the education of all ranks of people more attended to than in 

Now, in 1896, there comes a voice from a son of Connecticut, who has spent 
nearly half a century in 
the sunny land of cotton : 
"As I grow older, my 
opinion is stronger than 
ever that the ancient 
state has done more for 
the education and general 
advancement of all the 
people of this vast coun- 
try than any other." Con- 
necticut educators have a 
great past to live up to. 

The salutary influence 
of the clergy, described 
as "very respectable," is 
noted as having preserved a kind of aristocratic balance in the very democratic 
government of the state. 

What do the members of the medical profession, and tobacco-raisers think 
of this " act of the general assembly at Hartford in 1647, wherein it was ordered, 
' That no person under the age of twenty years, nor any other that hath already 
accustomed himself to the use thereof, shall take any tobacco until he shall have 

brought a certificate 

from under the hand 
of some who are ap- 
proved for knowledge 
and skill in physic, 
that it is fit for him, 
and also that he hath 
received a license from 
the court for the same.' 
All others who had 
addicted themselves to 
the use of tobacco, 
were, by the same 
court, prohibited tak- 
ing it in any company, or at their labors, or on their travels, unless they were 
ten miles at least from any house, or more than once a day, though not in com- 
pany, on pain of a fine of sixpence for each time ; to be proved by one substantial 
evidence " ? 

Oh ! the vicissitudes of time ! 

But the laws of Connecticut were again revised in 1750, and of them Dr. 


77/1? Grove Street Ceynetery. 


Douglass observed, " That they were the most natural, equitable, plain, and con- 
cise code of laws for plantations hitherto extant." 

Morse died in 1826, after a varied life, which brought him honors, among 
them a degree from the University of Edinburgh, and the office of U. S. Com- 
missioner to the Indian tribes. Here also is his wife, Elizabeth Anne Breese, 
granddaughter of President Finley of Princeton. So there is a family history 

in the names of Samuel Finley Breese Morse, Morse's 
illustrious son, whose first wife, Lucretia Pickering, 
took her place here at the age of twenty-five, not 
knowing what fame was in store for her husband. 

See this cross which bears the name of Theodore 
Winthrop — a name that summons the tragedy of the 
civil war, the blighting of a promising literary career, 
all too soon for achieving fame in battle. In that 
gifted man met the inheritance of the families that New 
England counts among her proudest possessions in 
the past, the Woolseys, the Dwights, the Winthrops. 
The call of Sumter roused the patriotism in the 
.scholar's heart, and in three months promise and 

yH«-H performance were alike ended. Much can be read 
V> H between the terse lines, "Born in New Haven, 
% B| vSept. 22, 1828. 
C * ♦ Fell in Battle at 
j | ,y m Great Bethel, 
Va., June 11, 

honors, travel 
in lands, old and 
new, the love 
of friends, the 
unfolding of 
fame in letters, 
the glow of 
patriotism, all 
led to that supreme moment, when, leap- 
ing up to urge on his men, he fell. The 
pathos of his death casts a spell over us 
when we turn the pages of ' ' Cecil 
Dreeme" and "Edwin Brothertoft," of 
" L,ove and Skates," and of those descrip- 
tions in the Atlantic of that memorable first "^^ J"«^' ^^^ ^.ovf.i.^.. 
march to Washington, which made him speak to the whole nation after his 
pen and sword were laid aside forever. 

Next is a name no less famous, that of Eli Whitney, ' ' the inventor of the 
cotton-gin, 1765-1825. 



The Grove Street Cemetery. 

the kind-hearted, swift-footed, 

We all know what Horace Greeley has so strikingly set forth, that the 
United States and the civilized world are richer because the inventive genius 
and courteous helpfulness of that young Yale man offered a friendl}^ hand to 
southern labor. What modern commerce would be without the cotton-gin, it is 
hard to say. 

Lyman Beecher, great father of great chil- 
dren, lies near, beneath a block of stone bearing 
a cross in relief; and next are the Taylors, Dr. 
Taylor of theological renown, and his daughter, 
Marj', the wife of Noah Porter. She is beside 

president of 
Yale. And 
in this 
h o o d of 
death is the 
grave of 
Noah Web- 
ster, 1758- 
1842. Veri- 
ly, he "be- 
ing dead, 
yet speak- 
eth," for do 
not millions 
of us im- 
plicitly obey TO mary ci.ap wooster. 
his orders given in the famous spelling-book, 
and in the "Unabridged," inspired by him 
with a life which keeps it in vigorous growth 
while generations pass away ? The speller 
attained a sale of sixty-two million copies 
long ago ; and although his royaltj' was 
only a cent a copy, that supported his family 
for years. 

Webster was a typical son of Connecti- 
cut in his versatility. Of Hartford birth, a 
graduate of Yale, he was teacher, lawyer, 
judge, politician, magazine editor, author of 
text-books, one of the founders of Amherst, and lexicographer, as occasion de- 
manded. The renown of his dictionary perhaps causes us to forget that his 
words were a prime mover for the call for the convention which gave to the 


The Grove Street Cemetery. 


United States their revered constitution. He lived in sight of his final resting- 

On the opposite side is the grave of Joel Root, the model of high-bred 
integrity, whose adventures in a business voyage of three years around the 
world in the first years of the century read like a second Robinson Crusoe. 

. Turning to another avenue, we 

find an educator of a later generation, 
but of wide influence, John Epy 
Lovell, ' ' founder and teacher of the 
I,ancasterian school." He was born 
in 1795, and lacked but three years ot 
a century of life when he died in 
1893. For years he carried out in 
New Haven his peculiar ideas of 
methods of instruction, and although 
the "monitor system" is an educa- 
To THEODORE DwiGHT WOOI3EY. tioual fashiou long since laid aside, 

the memory of the genial and talented teacher is still green. In 1889, Mr. 
Lovell appeared in the procession which celebrated the two hundred and fiftieth 
anniversary of the founding of the town. Every eye was turned on the veteran, 
who, in his ninety-fourth year, was already in the halo of the past. He sleeps 
beneath granite 
blocks picturesquely 
piled, a monument 
given by an associa- 
tion of his pupils. 

These stones 
commemorate the 
Clap family, "The 
Reverend and 
learned Mr. Thomas 
Clap, late President 
of Yale College," in 
days so far away 
(1740-1765), thathe 
could show his 
enterprise by caus- 
ing the first cata- 
logue to be prepared 

for the library, that library so asssociated with the foundation and continued 
life of the college, by compiling the college laws (in Latin), the first book 
printed in New Haven, and by securing the new charter with the style, " the 
President and Fellows of Yale College in New Haven ; " Mrs. Clap, and their 
daughter, Mary Clap Wooster, "widow of Gen. David Wooster, of the Revo- 
lutionary Army." 



The Grove Street Cemetery. 

She was the "Madam Wooster" whose namesake is the New Haven 

Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution. 

Another Yale president is in this scholastic ground, the first President 

Dwight. Of all the praiseworthy acts of his able career not one was more 

laudable than begin- 
ning the work of 

breaking down the 

old-fashioned b a r - 

riers which separ- 
ated classes and 

facul ty . His 

' ' reign ' ' naturally 

trebled the number 

of students. 

Six headstones 

in a row, each one 

bearing the name of 

Olmsted, tell of 

death's ravages in 

one family of sons. 
The father, 

Denison Olmsted, '"' "'^'•'^ ^"^'^"^ ^^° i-kon.^rd bacon. 

the loved professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, before the days of 

specialists, and five sons, lie here. 

Of the sons, all but one Yale men, one 
died at twenty-two, two at twenty-five, one 
at thirty, and one at thirty-five. 

Near the rear wall is the burial-place of 
another revered Yale president, Theodore 
Dwight Woolsey. Perhaps the extent of his 
fame as a scholar was never better seen than 
when one of the Chinese embassies brought 
over as a gift to him his work on International 
Law translated into Chinese. Most pathetic 
is the inscription over the graves of the two 
daughters who died of Syrian fever in Jerusa- 
lem, only two days apart. "In their deaths 
they were not divided." 

Three great scholars repose together in 
death even as they labored together in life, 
Professor Twining, Professor Hadley, Pro- 
fessor LrOomis. Professor Twining made the 
first railroad survey in the state, and therefore 

one of the first in the country. It was in 1835, for the Hartford and New Haven 

railroad. The books which Greek and mathematical students have pored over 



The Grove Street Cemetery. 



for so many years have been the best monument for Hadley and L,oomis. After 
the latter' s burial, there came warning telegrams from the chief of the New 
York police, and a strict guard was necessary every night until the heavy base 
of the monument was laid, and there was no further opportunity to pry into the 

secrets of that powerful 

' ' Leonard Bacon ! ' ' 
What memories his 
name brings up of work 
and inspiration for more 
than fifty years of pas- 
toral life in New Haven. 
Some one said of him 
that while really a man 
of low stature, he always 
gave the impression of 
being of commanding 
height. Such was the 
effect of his master- 

"After hfe's fitful 
fever," here sleeps his gifted and disappointed sister, Delia Bacon, the prophetess 
of the Baconian theory of the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. A is 
the symbol above her, with these words, " 'So he bringeth them to their desired 
haven.' In grate- 
ful remembrance, 
this monument is 
erected by her 
former pupils." 

Rest, now, 
perturbed spirit, 
in that realm 
where perplex- 
ities are resolved 
into glad cer- 

Here is 
Charles Good- 
year, the great 
inventor, one of 
America's bene- 
factors. He was 
preeminent in the 

talent which is a chief characteristic of Connecticut men, and his struggles for 
nearly thirty years with poverty and debt and injustice while he wrestled with 



The Grove Street Cemetery. 


the problem, the solution of which transformed caoutchouc into vulcanized rub- 
ber in its hundreds of useful forms, border on heroism. Like many other great 
inventors, he was rudely treated by Fortune, who bade him take fame and 
foreign medals, while she poured the earnings of his brain into the hands of 
those who borrowed his ideas. 

General Terry and 
Admiral Foote, our heroes 
in the civil war, are here ; 
and reminders of the Rev- 
olution are not lacking. 
The days of alarm and dis- 
tress when the rough 
"redcoats" were maraud- 
ing in the streets of the 
quiet little town, are 
brought to mind by the 
time-worn monument of 
the great-grandfather of 
ex-Gov. English, bearing 
the words, "Benjamin 
English, died 5 July, 1779, 
aged 74. He was stabbed by a British soldier when sitting in his own house." 
In another part of the ground is the grave of another aged man who met 
death in a similar way during the same raid, Nathan Beers, the father of the 
Revolutionary soldier. Deacon Nathan Beers. Let us be thankful that the days 
of arbitration are at hand. 

Here, too, rests Colonel 
David Humphrey, the trusted 
aid-de-camp of Washington. 

The old New Haven 
families, the Trowbridges, the 
Ingersolls, the Hillhouses, 
have come here for their long 
home ; of governors who have 
honored the old state, such as 
Governor Dutton and Gover- 
nor Baldwin, the defender of 
the famous Amistad captives ; 
of learned professors, such as 
Thacher, the Latin scholar, 
and Eaton, the botanist ; of men eminent in all professions, such as Dr. Levi 
Ives, "the beloved physician," Henry R. Storrs, the jurist and orator; of 
benefactors, of patriots, the list grows as fast as one walks about. William 
Dwight Whitney, whose fame as a philologist and Sanskrit scholar is world- 
wide, and who was a member of so many learned foreign societies that a whole 


The Grove Street Cemetery. 53 

alphabet seemed to follow his name, has taken his place among the illustrious 
dead. Joseph Earl Sheffield lies in sight of his home on Hillhouse avenue and 
of the buildings of the lusty, ever growing Scientific School which was his 
noble gift to Yale. His example of bestowing what he had to give while he 
was alive to watch the growth of his plan ought to be followed by millionaire 
philanthropists who wish to secure his success. The grandfather of President 
Cleveland, the Rev. Aaron Cleveland, was buried on Linden Avenue, in 18 15. 
The bones of New Haven's first governor lie near the Center church, where 
the earliest interments were made, but the monument is here with this inscrip- 
tion : 

" Thkophhus Eaton, Esq., Governor. 
Deceased Jan. 7, 1657, Aetati.s, 67. 

Eaton, so famed, so wise, so meek, so just. 

The Phoenix of our world here hides his 

This name forget. New England never must." 

Wherein the sentiment is more laudable than the poetry. 

Is there a name more honored in Connedticut's revolutionary history than 
that of Roger Sherman, one of the immortal five who presented the Declaration ? 

He is buried here. The lines on his monument show that his fellow-citizens 
left him little time for private life. He was " Mayor of the city of New Haven, 
and senator to the United States." " He was nineteen years an Assistant and 
twenty-three a Judge of the Superior Court, in high Reputation. 

He was Delegate in the first Congress, signed the glorious A6t of Inde- 
pendence, and many years displayed superior Talents and Ability in the National 
Legislature. He was a Member of the general Convention, approved the federal 
Constitution, and served his Country with fidelity and honor in the House of 
Representatives and in the Senate of the United States." 

We know that there is no flattery in the quiet eulogium that follows : 

" He was a man of approved Integrity, a cool, discerning Judge, a prudent, 
sagacious Politician, a true, faithful, and firm Patriot." 

Full of pathetic suggestions is the " college lot," where, in days gone by, 
those who died in the midst of their course, away from home, were laid, having 
found their long home in the town to which they came with aspirations for lay- 
ing the foundations of great careers. 

Most of these monuments are of like pattern and have been placed there by 
classmates. The inscriptions nearly all express in Latin the regret of these class- 
mates, and have dates of long ago, when it was necessary that death and burial 
should occur in the same place ; but one is recent, 1892, and is the memorial of 
Kakichi Senta, Japan. An ocean and a continent separate him from his gentle, 
dark-eyed friends in that wonderful West of the Orient. On the tombstone of 
little Susie Bacon, who died in Switzerland in her fourth year, are her touching 
last words, " Der liebe Gott liebt Susie, und ich soil Ihn sehen." 

There are not many of the mirth-provoking epitaphs which one sometimes 

54 T^f^^ Grove Street Cemetery. 

sees in old churchyards. Sidney Hull and his five wives may draw a sigh from 
some, a smile from others. 

But one of the most interesting features of this burial ground is the long line 
of ancient headstones resting against the wall. A great part of two sides is 
occupied by these memorials of the colonial dead, brought hither in 1820, when 
the graves in the Green were leveled. Here we read history by fascinating hints 
and snatches. The stones are sometimes of slate, but oftener of sandstone, which 
has proved in many cases a treacherous record-bearer by flaking off in layers, 
thus leaving a painful blank where once appeared the name and station of him 
' ' To the Memory ' ' of whom the stone was raised. Many of them are bordered 
by scrolls and vines, and are surmounted by cheerful death's heads and cherubim. 
Some are the rude efforts of unaccustomed hands, trying to preserve the memory 
of dear ones, when it was difficult to carve even a few letters, and some show 
that, as years passed, the stone-cutter had taken his place as a recognized work- 
man. By the irony of fate the date for which a curious visitor looks most eagerly 
is often the very part of the inscription which is illegible, but the stones belong 
to the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. 

In those days they were strenuous to insist on the social standing betokened 
by "Mr." and "Mrs." as, 

"Mr. David Atw.a^ter, 

A noted apothecary, and a fimi advocate for his country, in defense of which he fell 

a volunteer in the battle at Gunipo Hill, 1777." 

Another shows that phonetic spelling had its adherents, 

"Joseph Aij.sup 
Deseased in ye 42 yeare of hi.s age, January the 12, 1691." 

There are many double stones and almost all have rounded tops. 
Here is a "doleful sound" from the stone of Mrs. Betty Colt, who died in 
1765, aged twenty-two : 

" Passenjers, as you pass by, 
Behold ye place where now i lie, 
As you are now, so once was i. 
As i am now, so j-ou must be. 
Prepare to die & follow me." 

Sometimes the words proved too much for the sculptor and he was forced to 
divide such a word as "d3'ed," placing one part on one line and the other on 

Allings and Atwaters and Mixes and Bradleys and Beechers abound, and 

the military titles of those who died in the early part of the eighteenth centur}- 

remind us that peaceful homes were not secured without fighting. A glimpse 

of the loyalty to the old home is seen in the following : 

" In memory of Mr. Josiah Woodhouse, who was born in ye city of London, in old England, 
and died in New Haven, vSept. 7, 1761, in his 43d year." 

Some of these old stones have been broken in half lengthwise, and when one 
portion has entirely disappeared, the remaining half gives tantalizingly partial 

The Grove Street Cemetery. 


record. For example, of some nameless one, we have yet this tribute of aching 

hearts : 

" Aged 19 years 
Beloved in life 
And much bemoaned in death." 

The sole legend on another is, "A. B." On another, 

"R., 1686, F.'p." 

These alphabetical memorials were full of meaning once to some fond ones ; 
now they only say that some one died, and some one lamented. One, like a part 
of a puzzle, gives us an opportunity to guess the whole : 

James Rice 

friend of 

nd religious order 

emed and useful 

in his life 

death sincerely lamented. 

He died 

the yellow fever 

September 29, 1 794. 

65th year of his age. 

Happy the man, who, when his life's records are shattered, can leave frag- 
ments that point to such a whole ! 

The sexton's bell rings, the gates will close, and we leave the honored dead 
to their eternal peace in the midst of that city which they blessed by their lives. 

From the painting by V^anderlyn. 
' But in those hours when others rest^ 
Kept public care upon his breast.''' — Sachem's IVootf. 

Perhaps the charm of Hill- 
house Avenue may lie in the very 
limitations of space which give it an 
air of daintiness and finish. Not 
more than a quarter of a mile long, 
it lies between the Hillhouse grounds 
at the head, and the Historical Soci- 
ety's building, the gift of Mr. Henry 
English, at the foot ; and the eye, 
at one glance, takes in the whole 
arcade of the graceful, shadowy elms 
that lift their glorious crowns to the 
sky. In 1792, Senator James Hill- 
house laid it out, one hundred and 
five feet wide, through the "Hill- 
house Farm," and he planted the 
elms which for all these years have 
made a royal canopy. A young 
man in the employ of Mr. Hillhouse 
drove the stakes and helped to set 
out the trees. That young man 
was proud to recall the fact when 
he walked beneath those elms as 
President Day, of Yale. Time has 
justified the foresight of the owner 
of the land ; the homes of wealth 

Hillhouse Avenue. 


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if!* . ^ - 


W^^* \ 


v-',K-^ ■i^^. 





v'-^l^y^-.:- ' ^ 


' -M 



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U'it/t the kind pej-missioH of the Kim City Nursery Co. 

and of learning are on either hand, and in this "cathedral city, whose streets 
are aisles," there is no street more beauti- 
ful than this. 

Just as his early home, the house of 
his uncle, James Abraham Hillhouse, 
was at the head of Church street, so Mr. 
Hillhouse' s own dwelling, now gone, was 
then at the head of Temple street, and he 
moved away a part of it, so that the street 
could be extended to join the Hartford 
turnpike where Temple and Church meet 
in Whitney avenue. From that house, 
when an angry mob threatened to tear 
down the Medical School, then in what is 
now Sheffield Hall, because the body of a 
beautiful young woman, stolen from her 
grave, was supposed to be secreted there, 
Mr. Hillhouse went forth in the majesty 
of the trusted and trustworthy citizen — and 
the surging, infuriated crowd was still. historical socikty's biildino. 


Hillhouse Avemie. 

For the mansion of his son, James A. Hillhouse, the poet, he seledled 
the high ground, which rose among the oaks, and there were spent 


the declining years of his own life. Hillhouse avenue, which was first 
called Temple avenue, was private property, and, until 1862 — when the 
city assumed jurisdi6lion — Mayor Skinner and Mr. William Hillhouse, the 
nephew whose house is near the gate, used annually, on some Odlober night, 

to stretch the chain 
across the entrance, 
in compliance with 
the law. 

On one corner, 
as you approach, 
is the pi6turesque 
"Cloister," a build- 
ing not wholly con- 
secrated to ascetic 
vigils ; on the other, 
the vacant space, 
which was the old 
Botanical Garden, is 
dignified by the 
" Nathan Beers " elm, the tallest and mightiest of all New Haven elms. It was 


Hillhouse Avenue. 


planted by the noble man whose name it bears. In front of the " Garden " is a 
well, now covered by the turf that borders the sidewalk, and it probably be- 
longed to the old house with long, sloping roof which was near the present 
Sheffield house. The old house was the home of Nathan Beers himself, who 
was one of the charadteristic men of the revolutionary period. A son of the 
Nathan Beers who was killed in his own house by the "redcoats" in their 
attack on New Haven, he had himself gone with Arnold at the outbreak of 
fighting, and later was one of the guards of the unfortunate Andre during the 
last night of his blighted life. What were the thoughts of the young men 
during those solemn hours, we know not. 

Beers described 
Andre as outwardly 
calm, except for the 
nervous rolling of a 
pebble under his foot. 
Before his execution 
he gave his gentle- 
faced keeper a pen 
and ink portrait of 
himself, which he 
had made by the aid 
of a mirror the day 
before. That sad lit- 
tle bit of paper is now 
in the Yale College 
library. Mr. Beers 
was a lieutenant and 
paymaster in the 
army, and so saw 
much of Washington. 
One still living re- 
members that he often 
spoke of seeing the 
harassed commander 
withdraw into the 
forest, before a battle, 
to invoke the Lord 
of Hosts. After the 
war, Mr. Beers, who 

had abundant means for those days, was persuaded by the first President Dwight 
to purvey for the college commons. Alas ! there was a lamentable discrepancy 
between the appetites of college boys and their ability or willingness to pay — 
debts rapidly accumulated and Mr. Beers was left a poor man, unable to meet 
his obligations. After so many j^ears had pa,ssed that the claims against him 
were several times outlawed, he succeeded in getting a pension ; but, instead of 



Hi/ I house Avenice. 

applying it to personal needs, he spent it all in paying his creditors or their 
descendants, whom he sought out with great pains. Such a man deserved the 
love and respedl which attended him even to the extreme age of ninety-six. 
Well for the old North Church that it kept him as its deacon for many years ! 
He became extremely deaf in old age ; and on one of the occasions when the 

Governor's Guard marched to his home to 
salute him, he acknowledged the compliment 
by : " Boys, I can't hear your guns, but your 
powder smells good !" He was noted for 
that unfailing courtesy and gracious dignity 
which his admirers called Washingtonian. 
Why are we not ashamed to speak of good 
manners as "old fashioned?" With all the 
present revival of the past, let us bring into 
vogue the "old school" of high breeding 
and true culture. 

The portrait by Jocelyn, of which a copy 
is given, was painted in the old age of Mr. 
Beers and belonged to his grandson, Dr. Levi 
Ives, being now in the possession of the 
latter's son, Dr. Robert Ives. 

The imposing front of St. Mary's Roman 
Catholic church, and, opposite it, the Shef- 
field house, recall us to modern times. That 
house was built by the distinguished architedt, Ithiel Town, for his own use. 
Then, after Dr. Peters had lived in it, Mr. Sheffield bought it and added the 
extremities of the wings, 
which were not in the orig- 
inal plan. Many can re- 
member the handsome old 
man in the window, peace- 
fully enjoying the evening 
of life. He completed his 
noble gifts to Yale by be- 
queathing to her his house 
and grounds, and so a biolog- 
ical laboratory adds the asso- 
ciations of science to those of 
patriotism, art, and philan- 
thropy, already connected 
with the place. 

A little north of the 
spot where North Sheffield 
Hall is, but facing the ave- 
nue, was the old Mansfield house, that, to the day of its downfall, bore the bullet 



Hillhouse Avenue. 


marks left by the British ; four maps, now in the New Haven Historical Society, 
were in the house then and were pierced by the shots. The story goes that 
Mrs. Mansfield, whose husband was a Tor\', while her sons were patriots, had 
just bowed to hear her little one say his prayers, when a bullet passed immedi- 
ately over her head. The old building standing where Sheffield Hall now is 
was occupied as a by the British, whose appreciation of Mr. Man.s- 
field's tory principles did not prevent them from stealing from his house a silver 
tankard which was secreted in one of the beds. 

The famous Farmington Canal passed diagonally across the avenue, and the 
cut was u.sed by the Canal railroad, when it was built. Children used to linger 
on the bridge to look at the boats as now they do to see the trains. The railroad 
station was, for a year or two, near Temple street, at the rear of the place of Mr. 
William Hillhouse. Senator Hillhouse was interested in the opening of the 
canal, which, in the world's 
ignorance of the railroads 
that were soon to be, prom- 
ised well. He gave eclat to 
the enterprise by breaking 
the earth, and the .spade 
which he used, now adorned 
with his portrait, is in the 
rooms of the New Haven 
Historical Society. 

Many eyes have turned 
to the house behind the rho- 
dodendrons, on the corner of 
Trumbull street and the ave- 
nue, because for nearly forty 
years, it was the home of the 
famous geologist and miner- 
alogist, Professor Dana. His 
books and his teachings have 
made him a light in the path 
of science ; his enthusiasm 

and success in his chosen pursuits, combined with his spotless character, made 
his presence a power, and his going has left a sad vacancy. 

The home of the elder Professor Silliman, a man of high position in the 
scientific and the social world, was once on the corner of that street and the 
avenue. It was built by the Hillhouses, and was for a long time a solitary 
house. Professor Silliman bought it in 1809, and he was regarded as living far 
out of town. To it he brought his bride and in it he died in 1864. 

The house had several additions, which were taken away or changed when 
it was moved to Trumbull street. A low, arched opening could be seen at one 
side in the thick stone wall of one of those wings. Although only a prosaic 
means of access to the kitchen, the students of the day persisted in conne<fling it 



Hillhouse Avenue. 

with the novel and profound scientific investigations of the famous and learned 
professor, and looked on it as a mj'sterious entrance to occult and questionable 
rites which were not divulged to the outside world. 

Had he lived five hundred years earlier, Silliman might have shared the 
fate of Roger Bacon. This arch, as well as a canal boat and a canal bridge, 
belonging to the Farmington canal, can be seen in the accompanying cut, taken 
from an original drawing by Mr. Robert Bakewell, a New Haven artist of note 
in his generation. The drawing is in the possession of Professor Silliman's 
daughter, Mrs. James D. Dana, who, with her sister, is represented in the fore- 

Once, to light the carriages bearing guests to the wedding of one of his 
daughters, he hung a lantern on a tree at the entrance of the avenue. The 
staple remained, was forgotten, and years after, when the tree was cut down, 


was found imbedded within the trunk. It was the cause of great bewilderment, 
until Professor Silliman explained the mystery. 

His first wife was the daughter of the second Gov. Jonathan Trumbull. 
Madam Trumbull passed the last nine years of her life in the house of her 
son-in-law, and for her, Trumbull street, at first called New street, was named. 
Here it was that I,afayette, in his triumphal last visit to us, in 1823, paid his 
respe<5ls to her as a survivor of the friends of his brilliant youth. We can fancy 
the procession arriving with all civic and military parade, and onlookers and 

Hill house Avenue. 


escort waiting with eager reverence, while the veteran and the dame looked back 
across the vale of years to the heights of revolutionary trials and triumphs ; and 
then the departure through the leafy street, all knowing that it was the last time. 

Mrs. James D. Dana was then a baby, and had the honor of being kissed 
on the occasion by the gallant old Frenchman. Col. John Trumbull, the 
painter, Mrs. Silliman's uncle, was for some years an inmate of the house. To 
it came Agassiz, with his wife, for their first visit in this country, when he was 
in the glow of his beauty and enthusiasm ; and throughout his life, at this 
house and that of Professor Dana, he was a frequent visitor. 

Professor Silliman's high position in the scientific and the social world 
brought to him during his long life on the avenue many other illustrious ones, 
Sir Charles and Lady Lyell ; Basil Hall, the English traveler ; Dr. Hare, of 
Philadelphia ; President John Quincy Adams, among them. 

In fadt, it would be safe 
to say that few men of literary, 
scientific, or artistic distindlion 
have visited New E)ngland 
without being domiciled some- 
where on the avenue. Under 
Professor Dana's roof have 
come such men as Wendell 
Phillips, Professor Guyot, Pro- 
fessor Gray, of Cambridge ; 
Professor Baird, of the Smith- 
sonian Institute. 

Freeman, Farrar, and 
Dean Stanley, church digni- 
taries and historians galore, 
Ian Maclaren last but not least, 
have been entertained \)y Pro- 
fessor Fisher, the church his- 
torian, who has compressed 
the learning of a lifetime into 
the "History of the Reforma- 
tion," the "History of Chris- 
tian Do<5trine, " the " Outlines 
of Universal History," etc., 
works whose erudition and 
candor have made him known 
on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The first eredted of the houses now standing on the avenue was built by 
Mr. William J. Forbes for his daughter, the wife of the second Professor Ben- 
jamin Silliman. It was one of the first houses in the city in which were 
employed certain features of interior decoration now often seen. It was for 
years a center of gracious culture and hospitality. Famous people were often 



Hillhouse Avenue. 


there ; recently, Dr. Dorpfeld, the coadjutor of Schliemann in digging out from 
the earth the secrets of Greek history, has been the guest of Professor Seymour, 
the learned Greek scholar, the present occupant of the house. 

Next in time to the elder Professor Silliman's house was that' of Mrs. 
Whelpley, which at first stood on another street. She was the sister of Mrs. 
Apthorpe, and the mother of Melancthon Whelpley, one of the wretched victims 

of the Nicarauguan 
expedition. It was 
afterwards the home 
of President Porter, 
who received there a 
long procession of 
men of note in all 
departments of learn- 
ing. As we go on to 
the house of Profes- 
sor Hoppin, whose 
"Old England" has 
been a guide to manj' 
a wanderer in the 
mother island, even 
as his le<5tures in the 
Yale Art School have 
led the way to clearer 
insight in the paths of art, we remember that Phillips Brooks ; the Bishop of 
Manchester, England ; Lady E. Fitzmaurice, the author, and the friend of 
Browning ; Herkomer, the painter ; Augustus Hoppin, the artist ; Amelia B. 
Edwards, learned "in the wis- 
dom of the Egyptians," have 
enjoyed hospitality there. 

Midway on the street is the 
home of Mrs. Boardman, the 
giver of the Manual Training 
School. The house is also a.sso- 
ciated with Mayor Aaron Skin- 
ner, who was, during his life, 
a steadfast promoter of New 
Haven's welfare, a citizen who 
left many traces of his good 
taste, notably in the gateway 
and walls of the Grove Street 
Cemetery. He built the house 
for a boys' school, which for 

years existed there beside the girls' school, conducted by the Misses Apthorpe, 
in the house now in the possession of Yale University, and occupied by Mrs. 
Cady's .school. 


I'm: i:i,iii:r pro 


Hillhouse Avenue. 


{Formerly the home 0/ Pro/. Benjamin Siiiiman, the younger.) 

On the other side lived Henry Farnam, the giver of Farnam College, and 
of that triumph of road-making, the ever beautiful Farnam Drive in East Rock 
Park. The house and 
grounds are to be the prop- 
erty of Yale at some time ; 
the new operating theater at 
the Nevp Haven hospital is 
the gift of his widow and his 
son, Professor Farnam ; and 
in many ways the family 
name is associated with ben- 
efactions to the city. 

Around all lingers the 
memory of that remarkable 
man who made his own 
monument in this beautiful 
street. We hope that he was 
gifted with a prophetic vis- 
ion of his completed plan ; 
and, indeed, some now liv- 
ing remember his tall form 
striding up and down the 
avenue for many years after it was opened. 

The Hillhouses were a Protestant family of importance in Ireland, having 

an estate at Arti- 
R ^^^flHHJ^" * '"'r^^'^^ Mf'^^^iulf^ kelly, near Lon- 

donderry, whence a 
Rev. James Hill- 
house, born in 1687, 
came to New Hamp- 
shire about 1719, 
and thence to Mont- 
ville, near New Lon- 
don. There two 
sons, William and 
James Abraham, 
were born. His 
wife, Mary Fitch, 
was a great grand- 
daughter of Captain 
John Mason, of Pe- 
quotfame; and thus, 
although the Hill- 
house family came 
to America nearly one hundred years after the landing at Plymouth, these sons 


Hillhouse Avenue. 


were descended from one of the most valuable of the early settlers. William 
married a sister of the first Governor Griswold, and of their numerous sons, the 
second, James, was adopted by his uncle, James Abraham, who had been grad- 
uated from Yale in 1 749, and had become a lawyer in New Haven, distinguished 
for ability and uprightness. The little seven-year-old boy was undoubtedly 
warmly welcomed in the big, childless Hillhouse house on Grove street, but 
probably no one dreamed that his name was to be inseparably associated with 
benefits to New Haven. 

The father, William, of Montville, was himself a striking charadler, and 
filled an important place in public life even to his eightieth year, serving in one 
hundred and six semi-annual legislatures. For these frequent trips to Hartford 
and New Haven, he 
scorned such new- 
fashioned luxuries as 
wheeled carriages, re- 
garding such tokens 
of eflfeminate degen- 
eracy much as did 
the Gauls the saddles 
of their neighbors ; 
and he invariablj' 
performed the jour- 
ney in one day, and 
on horseback. His 
grandson, James A. 
Hillhouse, the poet, 
has left, in his notes 
to ' 'Sachem's Wood, ' ' 
the following pictur- 
esque description of 
his grandfather : 

" Venerable im- 
age of the elder day ! 

Well do I remember those stupendous .shoe-buckles : that long gold-headed cane 
(kept in madam's, thy sister's best closet, for thy sole annual use) ; that steel 
watch chain and silver pendants, yea, and the streak of holland like the slash in 
an antique doublet, commonly seen between thy waistcoat and small clothes, as 
thou pas.sedst daily at nine o'clock, a. Ji., during the autumnal session." 

And again: " As the oldest councilor, at the Governor's right hand, sat 
ever the patriarch of Monticello (a study for Spagnoletto), with half his body, in 
addition to his legs, under the table, a huge pair of depending eyebrows con- 
cealing all the eyes he had till called upon for an opinion, when he lifted 
them up long enough to speak briefly and then they immediately relapsed. At 
his leave-taking (when eighty years old) there was not a dry eye at the council 



Hillhouse Avenue. 

In a New Haven newspaper of December 21, 1791, we find the following 
announcement of holiday cheer and charity : 

" A X(MV)mas ox will be distributed on Saturday next, and the needy are 
requested to apply. William Hillhouse." 

Quite a contrast to the organized charities and the tramps of to-day ! One 
likes to pi(5lure the jovial scene when the needy ones so politely invited crowded 
around to receive the bountj^ of the generous man. Probablj' there were 
grumblers even then. 

William Hillhouse, of Montville, lived to see his son a success. He died in 
1816. That son, coming from the large family in Montville, found himself in 
the position of only child in his uncle's family in New Haven. He was a student 
in the Hopkins Grammar School, and afterward at Yale, in the class of 1773. 

The serious discussions of the 
time did not wholly repress 
youthful festivity, for, at the 
anniversary of the lyinonian 
Society, in 1772, the " Beaux's 
Stratagem" was given, and 
Nathan Hale and James Hill- 
house were among the adtors. 

The faculty did not cover 
so many pages then as now, 
five names composing the list : 
the Rev. Dr. Daggett (adling 
President), who, later, distin- 
guished himself by marching 
in solitary defiance against the 
British invaders of New Haven; 
Nehemiah Strong, Professor 
of Mathematics and Natural 
Philosophy, and three tutors. But one of these tutors was afterwards the first 
President Dwight, and he interested himself in young Hillhouse enough to rouse 
him to do his best, and thus he gave the impulse which seems to have diredled 
a noble career. 

One very important influence must have come from the aunt, under whose 
roof he lived. She was Miss Mary Lucas before marriage, a stately woman of 
French descent, and she brought much land in the region of Temple street into 
the family. Her husband, James Abraham Hillhouse, died in 1775, in mid- 
career, but she lived to old age in the family mansion, which is now called 
Grove Hall. As long as she lived the family meeting for Christmas dinner was 
at her house ; and as long as she lived her adopted son never failed, when in 
New Haven, to pay her a daily visit of respedt. Before his death, the uncle had 
forbidden his nephew to leave his law studies to follow Arnold at the outbreak 
of hostilities, but when the invasion of the town roused all patriots to excite- 
ment, young Hillhouse, who had already issued a stirring call for enlistments, 


Hillhouse Avetiur. 


led out, as Captain of the Governor's Foot Guards, the little company of 
defenders. Aaron Burr, then in his brilliant j-outh, was visiting his New Haven 
friends and volunteered to lead one company. 

What a hurrying and skurrying there must have been on that fifth of July, 
which was to have seen the first celebration of the " glorious Fourth !" What 
a change from the cheerful discussions of jubilant festivity to the hasty prepar- 
ations for defense ! Captain Hillhouse was full of acflivity. He led his men 
across the fields to W^estville bridge, he fought, he captured prisoners, and in 
one way and another achieved the desired objedl of delaying the enemy for many 
hours, so that those who tarried behind had an opportunity to remove much 
valuable property. 
When the pillaging 
of the town could be 
no longer averted, 
the Hillhouse home 
was rescued from 
plunder and destruc- 
tion by the respedt 
felt for Madam Hill- 
house, who was well 
known as an adher- 
ant of the king and 
the Church of Eng- 

She entertained 
the British officers 
with all the hospi- 
tality at her com- 
mand, very likely in- 
wardly hoping thus 
to mitigate the se- 
verity of the treat- 
ment of her friends. What must have been her consternation in the midst of 
courtesies exchanged, to behold a newspaper, unwittingly left in sight, drawn 
forth, and the highly treasonable condudt of her nephew made evident by his 
printed call for volunteers. All seemed lost ; but the dignified old lady took 
truth for her defender, and did not deny that her young relative, in her esti- 
mation misguided, was doing his best to defeat his majesty's forces; but she 
explained that the house, like her opinions, was her own, and thus wrath was 
appeased and the house was saved. 

Hostilities over. Captain Hillhouse, who was already an able lawyer, noted 
for never undertaking a case unless he had implicit confidence in its justice, was 
introduced to political life in the State L,egislature, in 1780. 

Although very young for the honor, he was sent to the Council in 1789, 
and, in 1790, to Congress. For fourteen years he served the country as senator, 



Hill house Avenue. 

gallantly representing the land of steady habits. He was a Federalist, and 
accordingly a fervent admirer of Washington, but he learned to dread the effeifl 
of presidential elediions. It is reported that he sometimes said to his friends 
that " the presidency was made for Washington ; that the convention in defining 
the powers of that office, and the states in accepting the constitution as it was, 
had Washington only in their thoughts, and that the powers of that office were 
too great to be committed to any other man." So, in April, 1808, he proposed 
to the Senate a plan for reducing the term of office ; for representatives, to one 
year ; for senators, to three ; for president, to one year. The president was to 
be seledled by lot from the Senate. 

He said, " The office of President is the only one in our government clothed 
with such powers as might endanger liberty, and I am not without apprehension 
that, at some future period, they may be exerted to overthrow the liberties of 

our countr3^" He 
thus describes an 
eledlion going on 
at that time : "In 
whatever dire<5tion 
we turn our eyes, 
we behold the peo- 
ple arranging them- 
selves for the pur- 
pose of commencing 
the eledlioneering 
campaign for the 
next President and 
Vice-President. All 
the passions and 
feelings of the hu- 
man heart are 
brought into the 
most adlive operation. The eleAioneering spirit finds its way to every fireside, 
pervades our domestic circles, and threatens to destroy the enjoyment of social 
harmony. The candidates may have no agency in the business. They may be 
the involuntary objeds of such competition, without the power of diredling or 
controlling the storm. The fault is in the mode of election, in setting the people 
to choose a king. The evil is increasing, and will increase, until it shall termi- 
nate in civil war and despotism." This naturally excited much comment. But 
Mr. Hillhouse expressed opinions entertained by other thinking men. Chan- 
cellor Kent wrote to him ; " We can not but perceive that this very presidential 
question has already disturbed and corrupted the administration of government. 
Your refledtions are sage, patriotic, and denote a deep and just knowledge of 
government and of men." Chief Justice Marshall wrote, in 1831 : "The 
passions of men are inflamed to so fearful an extent, large masses are so embit- 
tered against each other, that I dread the consequences. The eledlion agitates 


milhoicse Avenue. 


every sedlion of the United States, and the ferment is never to subside. Scarcely 
is a President eledled before the machinations respecfting a successor commence." 

Crawford, afterward Secretary of the Treasury under Monroe, seconded the 
motion. Crawford wrote : " Eledtive chief magistrates are not, and can not, in 
the nature of things, be the best men in the nation ; while such eledtions never 
fail to produce mischief to the nation." 

We have outlived the dread of a king ; but, just after the stress of one of 
the most intense of presidential campaigns, what strange significance is attached 
to these forebodings of the serious men of almost a century ago ! 

It is very evident that Mr. Hillhouse was the proper type of man for political 
life, for his zeal and ability were expended in efforts truly disinterested. He 
seemed to have no thought of self-aggrandizement, either financial or political. 
The success with 

which he managed - ^-- ^^ 

his own affairs gave 
men confidence that 
he could carry on the 
business of the pub- 
lic, and never did he 
disappoint or betray 
that confidence. His 
unceasing exertions 
for his town and .state 
were the result of an 
affecftion that knew 
no weariness. Per- 
haps in no way did 
he accomplish a more 
lasting benefit for the 
state than when he 
restored the school 
fund to a paying con- 
dition. In 1786, Conne(5licut reserved to itself from its original grant, which 
extended to the Pacific, a tradt in northern Ohio between the same parallels that 
formed its own boundaries. Some of this land was given to those who had 
suffered at the time of the British invasion ; the remainder, three million three 
hundred thousand acres, was sold to a company of capitalists, and was applied 
to the support of the public schools. As is well known, this is the first school 

But interest was not paid, affairs fell into disorder, and, in 1809, the whole 
fund seemed in jeopardy. Then it was that the public eye was turned on James 
Hillhouse as the only man who could relieve the state from its difficulties ; and, 
in place of a Board of Managers, he was appointed sole Commissioner. Then it 
was that he gave up his seat in the Senate and devoted fifteen years of perplexity 
and toil to straightening the knotty problem given him. By processes of busi- 

The ki'.siui:.nck. 


Hillhoiise Avenue. 

ness, the original thirty-six bonds had become nearly five hundred. The 
debtors were scattered, and they were secured many times by mortgages on lands 
in different states, then not easily accessible. " Without a single litigated suit or 
a dollar paid for counsel, he restored the fund to safety and order." He used all 
his ingenuity in dealing with individuals, and in seeking that which was appar- 
ently lost, so that he not only secured the original sum, but added a half million 
to it, leaving it one million, seven hundred thousand dollars at his retirement. 

Such results were not attained without indescribable exertion. In sun and 
storm, through the wilds of a new country, wading deep fords, threading mazy 
forests, in spite of fever's heat and winter's cold, even when in danger of 
imprisonment under the false accusation of an enemy, he persevered to the 
desired end. For seven or eight years his journeys were performed in a light 
sulky, drawn by his famous "Young Jin," as indomitable as her master. 

Sometimes he drove 
her seventy miles in 
a day. Once, after 
twilight, in a lonely 
region, he drove her 
at full speed for thirty 
miles, because he was 
dogged by two ruf- 
fians who tried to 
stop him and snatch 
his trunk. They 
would have been still 
more enraged at being 
foiled than they were, 
if they had known 
that twenty thousand 
dollars were locked 
in that trunk. Poor 
Young Jin was blind after that forced march. 

Again in the silent forest, an Indian, as silent, appeared at his side and kept 
himself abreast for miles. At last, Mr. Hillhouse stopped, gave him a coin, and 
the man of the woods vanished as he had come. 

Mr. Hillhouse himself by exposure to cold, lost the use of one eye for a 
whole winter, but the well eye was made to do double work. Instead of making 
enemies by his demand for lost property, he often gained friends, and some 
debtors were restored from poverty to wealth by his sympathetic management of 
their affairs, making his interference a mutual benefit. 

In the case of the estate of Oliver Phelps, the indebtedness had amounted 
to three hundred and fifty-six thousand dollars. Mr. Hillhouse went to the 
very spot where lay the land involved, and so extricated it from embarrassment 
that he gained the whole sum for the fund and left the family rich. Fittingly, 
they presented him with six thousand dollars as a token of appreciation ; but 


Hillhouse Avenue. 


he declined to accept it for himself and gave it with about four thousand dollars 
more sent to him for similar reasons, by others, to the fund. Surely every boy 
and girl in Connedlicut who enjoys the advantages of public schools ought to 
be taught to revere the man whose disinterested and skillful labors secured these 
benefits, and should learn to regard the qualities which the first commissioner 
displayed, as the copy above all others to be imitated in forming that true and 
upright charadler which is the most precious treasure the citizen can bring to 
the state. 

In still one more office, that of treasurer of Yale, held for fifty years, from 
1782 to 1832, he achieved a benefit lasting and widespread in its influence. 

In 1 79 1, the college was under an exclusively clerical corporation, which 
caused some dissatisfaction ; and there were forcible suggestions of another in- 
stitution to be under state control. At this crisis, Mr. Hillhouse proposed that 
the Governor and 
Lieutenant Gover- 
nor and six ' ' senior 
assistants " (after- 
wards six senators) 
should be added to 
the corporation, and 
he conceived the 
idea that the money 
raised throughout 
the state for paying 
state revolutionary 
debts, debts which 
had just been as- 
sumed by the United 
States government, 
should be in part 
given to Yale. Thus 
about forty thou- 
sand dollars were added to the slender college purse, and with that, under the 
direction of Mr. Hillhouse and of John Trumbull, the artist, needed buildings 
were ere<5ted from time to time. 

Just after meeting the prudential committee of the college to present his 
report, this noble man excused himself from the family circle at Sachem's Wood, 
retired to his own room, and gently closed his eyes on the adtivities of this world, 
December 29, 1832. 

Hopeful amid difficulties, untiring in labors, unmoved by temptations of 
public life, brave and patient in peril, full of all good and lovely impulses, and 
endowed with sagacity and ability to carry out his design, James Hillhouse 
was a man whose like does not appear in every generation. 

We are too apt to feel that the virtues of our forefathers belonged to a past 
age ; that they are superseded in common with the stage coach and the flint lock, 


74 Hillhouse Avenue. 

and that any attempt to reinstate them in their former prominent place in the 
public estimation would be like the efforts to call back the candle light and the 
spinning wheel of other days— charming, but not pradtical. But while, in the 
kaleidoscope of life, circumstances and conditions never repeat their grouping, 
there is always a place for the main pieces of integrity, single-heartedness, and 
patriotism ; and uprightness and unselfishness ought to be admired and culti- 
vated as much in the end of the century as in the beginning. 

Mr. Hillhouse's first wife died young. His second wife was Rebecca Wool- 
sey, of Dosoris, L. I. Of his children, one, Augustus, passed many years in 
France, where he died ; another son, James Abraham, the poet, developed liter- 
ary talent and devoted himself to writing. He delivered some fine addresses 
and poems on special occasions. Among his works, "Sachem's Wood," a 
beautiful description of his home ; " The Judgment ;" and "Percy's Masque," 
are best known. The latter, with Hotspur's son, the last of the Percies, as hero, 
pictures the time of Henry V., and was admired on both sides of the water. 
The third child, Mary Lucas Hillhouse, lived to old age, in the house upon the 
hill, and displayed, from three years up, her father's sagacity and interest in 
public affairs. She was strenuous in insisting that sewing ought to be taught in 
the public schools ; and, to her, the colored people of New Haven owe their 
school on Goffe street. Always a promoter of good works, she was so constant a 
reader and student, that her society was sought by the learned, and, as an 
acknowledgment of favors received from her father and herself, a professorship 
was honored by the family name. 

She loved to talk of the past, and to few has childhood furnished so many 
interesting memories. When eleven years old she went with her father to the 
session of the Second Congress, in Philadelphia, during the last winter of the 
presidency of Washington, who petted and remembered the little girl. She 
heard his last address, was allowed to witness his last birthnight ball, saw the 
inauguration of President Adams, at which she sat in the lap of Mrs. Madison. 
Her father, in writing to her mother, February 23, 1797, said : " Mrs. Wolcott 
was so kind as to take Mary under her wing, by which means she was honored 
by a seat in the President's box through the whole evening, and a seat at the first 
supper table near the President, and by that means had an opportunity of seeing 
the brightest and most pleasing part of the whole scene ; and, indeed, she did 
appear to be highly delighted. Mrs. Washington took very particular notice 
of her, and often spoke very kindly to her, which caused her to be inquired 
out and noticed by ladies of the first distincflion, who naturally resorted 
to the President's box as the most honorable seat. One circumstance of good 
fortune which has attended M. in this business I have not mentioned, which 
is that no ladies under sixteen are admitted to these balls ; but Miss Mary 
had a ticket sent her by the managers unsolicited. Under these circumstances I 
did not think it was proper to admit of her going upon the floor to dance, though 
it was urged by some." 

Not only to public functions was the little girl admitted, but she was privi- 
leged to have a "private view " of the "first gentleman and lady " of the land ; 

Hillhmisc Avenue. ^5 

for Mary and her father were invited to tea at Mrs. Washington's. " I went 
with them on Thursday evening. We met a polite reception, and the President 
took Mary by the hand, and spoke to her in a very kind and aifedtionate man- 
ner, with which she seemed not a little pleased. They were not thronged with 
company, which gave us an opportunity of spending the evening very agreeably. 
Mrs. W. presided at the tea urn, and sent the cups around to the guests ; but 
she and I^afayette's son, the only children there, sat by her at the table and 
chatted together. ' ' 

What a pretty pidlure of the children of the republics of the old world and 
the new, making acquaintance with the happy rapidity of childhood, under the 
approving glances of their elders, who did ' ' sometimes counsel take, and some- 
times tea !" 

It is hard to believe that Washington was so stiff as some would represent 
him, when we see him yield thus readily to the sweet influences of children. 

Little Miss Mary's eyes were open to all the sights of the "republican 
court," and her pen was dipped in spicy ink. 

She wrote, December 12, 1796: "I went on Wednesday last to hear the 
President's last speech to Congress ; the house was very much crowded, but I 
got a very good place, for the ladies crowded me quite into the room ; but papa, 
who sat about a yard off, took me before him, and I saw everything. The Presi- 
dent is the handsomest man that ever I saw, but Mrs. W. is not near so handsome. 
I saw all the foreign ambassadors except the French. The English, Mr. I/., was 
dressed in a black coat, lined with white satin, and a very fine white satin waist- 
coat embroidered with gold and silver and colored silks, and a fine sword with 
ornaments, and a monstrous bag wig ; he is about seventy years old and a very 
ugly man as ever I .saw. He had very fine lace rufiles on. The Portuguese 
ambassador was dressed in the same manner as the English, only much finer, 
with a blue coat and a large silver star in the same manner as the king of Eng- 
land's picture. But the Spanish ambas.sador I liked much the best. He ap- 
peared to be about eighteen years of age ; he is quite pretty, and was dressed in 
a silk coat, with his hair dressed all around and his hat lined with white fur, 
and a star with a bunch of blue ribbons on it. The President was dressed in a 
black velvet coat, and wholly in black, and clean cambric ruffles, which I liked 
much better than the yellow lace of the fine ambassadors, who, notwithstanding 
all their finery, were far surpassed by the plain neatness of the President." 

Mr. Hillhouse wrote of a visit toMt. Vernon, soon after Washington's death : 
" Mrs. W. was very particular in asking after Mary, whom she fully and per- 
fedtly remembered, and expressed a strong desire to see her— wished she had 
been with me, and said I must bring her the next time I came to Congress. 
Mrs. Lewis, who was Miss Custis when Mary was in Philadelphia, was also 
particular in her inquiries after her, and said they were building a house about 
four miles from that place, and expedled next spring to go to housekeeping, and 
should be very happy to have M. spend some time with her. I must own I was 
not a little gratified to find the family so partial to M., the only one of our flock 
they had an opportunity of knowing." 

76 Hillhouse Avemie. 

Miss Mary Hillhouse was born in New Haven, in 1783, and died there in 1871. 

Senator Hillhouse was often called the "Sachem" in Congress, on account 
of his strong Indian complexion and features, and a frequent joke was that he 
kept a hatchet under his papers on his desk. His favorite toast was, " Let us 
bury the hatchet." The name which clung to him has been perpetuated in 
Sachem's lane, now Sachem street, which crosses the avenue at the foot of his 
place, and in the name of the estate itself, "Sachem's Wood," although it was 
at first "High wood." 

The avenue would be like the arch without the keystone if it should lose 
the stately Hillhouse place to which it leads. Nature has showered her treas- 
ures on the spot. In full view from the hilltop, West Rock and East Rock lift 
their ruddy, columned fronts, and city and country are pleasingly mingled. The 
park-like grounds are diversified by the undulations of hill and valley, and the 
original forest trees cast their flickering shadows on the turf. The flower garden 
is a mass of color to inspire a Persian poet, and the wild flowers pass in long 
procession under the sheltering trees. 

Best of all, the gate stands open to all who wish to enter and enjoy the sylvan 
retreat. In spring the children seek there the early wild flowers, and in winter 
their snowballs fly with merry shouts among the trees. Strangers drive there 
without rebuff', and the contemplative may sit on the grassy slope and muse 
away an hour, while the grey squirrels skip about with all the fearlessness that 
comes from ignorance of harm. It is hard to estimate the amount of pleasure 
that has come to the inhabitants of New Haven through this generous conduct 
of the owners of Sachem's Wood. The public owes a debt of gratitude that 
for generations the charms of nature have been free to all who chose to go to 
enjoy them. It is well that that public has shown itself worthy of the confidence 
reposed in it, that marauding hands are not laid on tree or shrub, and that the 
traces of vandal fingers are seldom seen. 

"Amid those venerable trees, the air 
Seems hallowed by the breath of other times, 
Companions of my Fathers ! )-e have marked 
Their generations pass. Your giant arms 
Shadowed their youth, and proudly canopied 
Their silver hairs, when, ripe in years and glory, 
These walks they trod to meditate on Heaven." 

Percy's Masque^ Act. II., Sc. i. 

John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

Painting is now an established profession in America ; but not so was it a 
century and a quarter ago, when John Trumbull was growing up in Lebanon , 
Connecticut, a village idyllic in its natural repose, yet during his youth 
thrilling with the activity 
of martial business. For 
John's father was no less 
than Jonathan Trumbull— the 
man who was governor for 
fourteen trying years ; who 
was proudly called "the only 
Colonial governor who held 
office during the Revolution ' ' ; 
and to whom Washington 
fondly referred as ' ' Brother 
Jonathan," thus originating 
the name for the pure Ameri- 
can. It was fine old stock, of 
Scotch-English origin, puri- 
fied and intensified by New 
England colonial life, and 
enriched by the best education 
the land could afford. The gov- 
ernor himself, and his sons, 
had gone to Harvard with 
divinity in viewi but some 
impulse seemed to urge them 
away from the pulpit toward 
the bar, the counting-room, 
and the magisterial chair. 

John's mother. Faith Robinson, was a descendant of the famous Priscilla 
and John Alden. To this mother we undoubtedly owe the preservation of the 
intelledlual powers which gave us a history on canvas. For during the early 
months of the future painter's life, he was subjedl to convulsions. A wise 
physician examined the baby's head, and said that no medicine could help, for 
the trouble arose from compression of the brain, caused by the overlapping ot 
the bones of the skull. Death or idiocy must come unless the mother would 
patiently and persistently press apart the displaced edges. Faith Trumbull rcas 


By Waldo and Jewett. 

/« //le Vale Art School. 

78 John Tru7nbidl, the Patriot Painter. 

patient and persistent, — and hence the painter of our Revolution, with a mind 
clear until death in his eighty-eighth year.* 

Lebanon possessed a school famous as perhaps the best in New England, 
kept by Nathan Tisdale, a Harvard graduate. It drew pupils from the South, 
and even from the West Indies. What the boys of to-day would say of a school 
without vacations, like the "congregations" that "ne'er break up," is not 
hard to guess. The result in this case was that at six the little John won in a 
contest in reading a portion of the Gospel of St. John in the original Greek. 
He says that his knowledge was that of a parrot ; but we certainly do not see 
many such parrots now ! 

Governor Trumbull believed in the education of women as well as of men, 
and his two daughters were sent to school in Boston. There they learned to 
embroider (those wonderful tombstone samplers, probably) and to paint in oil. 
The trophies, " two heads and a landscape," were hung in the parlor, and little 
John gazed on them. He was a born artist, and he tried to imitate. He used 
the sand on the floor for a drawing-board. We do not learn that kitty's fur 
suffered, as in the case of West ; but it was still genius triumphing over obstacles. 
On the inside of his closet door, the boy painted, with success remarkable for 
untutored fingers, a spirited figure of Brutus. The celebrated Professor SilH- 
man, the elder, of Yale, who married Harriet Trumbull, the daughter of the 
younger Gov. Trumbull, removed this panel, and it is now in the Wadsworth 
Atheneum in Hartford, a curious and treasured specimen of the boy's first 
attempts to paint. Around the figure, with its flying drapery, are scattered the 
dabs of paint made in trying the brush. 

The childish fondness for pidture making did not depart ; and when, at 
fifteen and a half the boy was ready to enter Harvard in the .second half of the 
junior year, he pleaded with his father to be allowed to study painting instead. 
At that time Copley was in Boston, with a great reputation ; and young Trum- 
bull thought that he might gain a profession while studying with him, for the 
same money that would take him through college. Economy was to be con- 
sidered, for his father's fortune had been swept away by the storms of the sea. 
The war governor must have been generations in advance of his time ; for he 
did not ridicule or reproach his son for having peculiar aspirations, but mildly 
overruled him and sent him to college. 

The school without vacations, and the diligent reading of all the history 
and of all the Greek and Latin authors at command in Lebanon not only placed 
him in the junior class, but made it an easy matter for him to keep in advance of 
most of his classmates. So he filled his leisure hours by studying French 
with a French family of Acadian exiles, slyly paying for it out of his pocket 
money, and thereby afterwards giving a pleasant surprise to the father in 
Lebanon. He had a great treat in going to see the paintings of Copley, then 
living by the Common. Copley was going out to dinner, and quite dazzled the 
boy by his maroon suit and gold buttons. In his researches in the college 
library he had found a few books on art and some fine engravings, besides Pira- 
nesi's prints of Roman ruins and a pidlure of the eruption of Vesuvius. A copy 

* From his Autobiography. 

John Triutibull, the Patriot Painter. 


which he made in oil of an engraving of a painting by Noel Coypel, represent- 
ing Rebecca at the Well, was approved by Copley, and is now in Hartford. 
He was, of course, dependent on his taste for supplying the colors. 

Graduated in 1773, he took up the task of teaching in behalf of his old 
master, Mr. Tisdale, who was ill for several months. Here was a boy of seven- 
teen instructing a school of seventy or eighty, decidedly mixed, as the subjedts 
for study varied from A B C to Latin and Greek. 

But the sound of war was in the air. John's father was the only patriot gov- 
ernor in the Colonies, and his house was a centre for discussions of the burning 
questions of the day. John caught and fanned the enthusiasm, drilled a company, 
and after the magic call of 
Lexington hastened to Boston, 
as a kind of aid to General 
Spencer. There he witnessed, 
from Bunker Hill, the fight 
which he has made it possible 
for us all to see again on his 
canvas. He was in no small 
danger himself on that day ; 
and his beautiful sister, the 
wife of Colonel Huntington, 
who had gone with a party of 
young friends to Boston to en- 
joy the novel scenes of a camp, 
beheld all too soon the hor- 
rors of real war, and, shocked 
by the apparently impending 
fate of her husband and brother, 
lost her reason, and died in the 
next November. 

It is not strange that the 
" Death of Warren at Bunker's 
Hill" surpasses all of Trum- 
bull's paintings in the whirl 
and rush of the combat, the 
fervor of patriotism, the con- 
trast of opposing passions, 
the pathos of death. We all 
know Bunker Hill. How easy 
now to place on it, as Trum- 
bull shows us, the form of 
Warren, sinking in death, but glowing with enthusiasm ! Pitcairn, mortally 
wounded, is falling into the arms of his son, and the artistic grouping brings 
the patriot and the red-coat into striking opposition. The British General 
Abercrombie has just fallen at Warren's feet, and a grenadier aims his revenging 
bayonet at Warren, while the benevolent Colonel Small, his former friend, inter- 




^ ^4^ A/i/: /7S(i> _ 

John Tncmbnll, the Patriot Painter, 


poses with uplifted hand to save the dying man. 
nam, the last loath to 
hind. At one side, 
evidently a hasty 
figure and dress, 
while his negro ser- 
a backward gaze of 
fright. Dimly in the 
fighting and retreat- 
while the ships below 
of smoke tell the tale 
town. Surely the 
his theme and his 
of that memorable 
lost the battle, but 
The faces with their 
are nearly all por- 
tion is fine, the 
crowded nor theatri- 
their own story of 

In the I 'ale A rt School. 

Howe and Clinton, and Put- 
retreat, are seen be- 
a young American, 
volunteer, of elegant 
turns away in horror, 
vant rolls his eyes in 
mingled curiosity and 
background are seen 
ing lines of troops ; 
and the lurid clouds 
of burning Charles- 
artist was inspired by 
glowing recollections 
combat, where we 
we "kept the hill." 
varied expression, 
traits, the composi- 
figures are neither 
cally posed, and tell 
the thrilling moment. 

This, and the " Death of Montgomery, " a piece somewhat similar in spirit, with 
the light streaming on the central figures, are justly called the finest examples 
of American historical painting.. 

To return to 1775. After Washington's arrival, a plan of the enemy's 
fortifications, stealthily made by Trum- 
bull, attracted the notice of the com- 
mander-in-chief, and procured him an 
appointment as second aid, Mifilin 
being first. After a time, Trumbull 
became major of brigade, and in the 
spring went to New York under Gates, 
who, on receiving his own appointment 
to the charge of the northern depart- 
ment, made Trumbull his deputy adju- 
tant-general. Then came the varied 
scenes of army life, during the campaign 
around Crown Point and Ticonderoga. 
Trumbull speaks of a voyage by sloops 
up the North River as occupying seven 
or eight days. 

The young adjutant was busy in 
preparing and submitting plans for the 
defence of strategic points ; and it seems 
now as if much time and blood might 


have been saved had his ideas been m the vaie An school. 

82 John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

accepted by Congress. He perceived and proved that Mt. Defiance commanded 
Mt. Independence, and urged that it be occupied instead of the latter. John 
Fiske says that he then showed himself superior in military sagacity to all the 
older officers who were around him. 

Sad duties there were, too ; for small-pox and a kind of yellow fever broke 
out among the troops, and Trumbull had to make careful examinations and 
returns. He says : — 

"I found them dispersed, some few in tents, some in sheds, and more under the shelter 
of miserable bush huts, so totally disorganized by the death or sickness of officers that the 
distin(5lion of regiments and corps was in a great degree lost, so that I was driven to the 
necessity of great personal examination ; and I can truly say that I did not look into tent or 
hut in which I did not find either a dead or dying man." 

After the defeat of General Waterbury, Trumbull met the prisoners returned 
by Sir Guy Carleton, and with unusual acuteness for so young a man he per- 
ceived the policy of the British commander's too propitiatory kindness. He 
hastened with his forebodings to Gates, who ordered that the returned men 
should be forwarded to their destination without communicating with their 
former comrades and therebj' reviving any latent affection for the mother country. 

Trumbull had been serving for months as deputj' adjutant-general under the 
appointment of General Gates, who was instrudled by Congress to make such 
selection for the office as he saw fit ; but that whimsical assembly delayed send- 
ing the commission, and when the delay had become almost inexcusable, sent 
the commission dated three months late. This affront was too much for Trum- 
bull's sensitive spirit ; he declined the commission. Conscious of having served 
with disinterested zeal, and of having gained the approval of his general, he 
perceived the tokens of jealousies among in high places. While Trumbull, 
for instance, was aid to Washington in 1775, Hancock had remarked that "that 
family was well provided for," — two brothers of John being in high position ; to 
which John dryly rejoined: "We are secure of four halters, if we do not suc- 
ceed." There was a long correspondence about the commission ; but Trumbull 
was firm in his refusal, and, full of disappointed patriotism, rettirned to Lebanon 
in the spring of 1777. 

His first love, art, claimed him then, and he went to Boston to study. There 
Smybert, most wooden of painters, but deserving lasting remembrance as the 
first man who made pidtures in America, and as one who stimulated Copley 
and Trumbull, had left a studio. Trumbull hired it, and found there several 
of Smybert' s copies of celebrated paintings. Among these, Vandyck's head of 
Cardinal Bentivoglio, and Raphael's Madonna della Sedia aroused his ad- 

Nevertheless, he says, " the sound of a drum frequently called an involun- 
tary tear to my eye." Naturally, when General Sullivan and Count d'Estaing 
combined to rescue Rhode Island from the enemy, Trumbull vohinteered to give 
his services as aid to Sullivan. The offer was accepted, and he took an adtive 
part in the short and stirring campaign, which failed in its principal objedl 
because the French fleet departed. 

Jolm Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 


Then it was that Trumbull, arrayed 
in a nankeen suit and mounted on a 
powerful baj' horse, rode about in full 
view during the long summer day, with 
a white handkerchief tied around his 
head, because the wind had taken off 
his hat in the morning and, as he says, 
"it was no time to dismount for a hat !" 
He was sent by General Sullivan to the 
top of Butts's Hill, with an order to 
Colonel Wigglesworth. He had to 
climb a continuous ascent of a mile in 
full view of the enemj^, and for the last 
half mile amid a hailstorm of bullets. 
He met one friend with an arm shot off, 
another shot through the back, a third 
borne away to have his leg amputated. 
On went the volunteer aid, to receive 
from Colonel Wigglesworth the charac- 
teristic greeting: "Don't say a word, 
Trumbull ! I know your errand, but • 
don't speak, — we will beat them in a 
moment." Oh ! what stuff was in those 


^OMyCr^ — - 


<f c 


From a Pencil Sketch . 

I' rum Trving's " Washington," by iiermissif)n of 

G. P. Putnam's Sons. 

impromptu soldiers!" Sullivan, who 
had watched him on his dangerous 
mission, regarded his safe return as a 

But the brief campaign ended, and 
Trumbull, almost ill, returned to Bos- 
ton. The army seemed closed to him ; 
painting lured, and for a year he studied 
his art diligently in Boston, where he 
became acquainted with the consul-gen- 
eral of Great Britain, Mr. Temple, 
afterward Sir John Temple. Undoubt- 
edly the spedtacle of a native of that 
country which had but barely emerged 
from pioneer life and was in the midst 
of a struggle for independent existence 
devoting himself to the art of painting. 


John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

without galleries, schools, or teachers, almost without an example for imitation, 
produced a deep impression on an envoy of a country which had been the home 
of Vandyck, and even then boasted of Sir Joshua. He advised the young 
soldier-painter to go to London, under the protedlion of his art, and to study 
with West. Through him, Lord George Germaine promised that Trumbull's 
rebellious family and his own participation in war should be overlooked, on 
condition that he would devote himself unreservedly to study. Besides that, 
his case came under the amnesty proclaimed by George IIL in 1778. 

Evidently there was a general impression that he partook of the Trumbull 
ability, for he was asked to take charge of a business venture which involved 
crossing the ocean ; so with two objedls in view he sailed, in May, 1780, from 

In ihe Yale Art School. 

New London for Nantes. After a quick passage of five weeks, he landed in 
France, only to find that British success at Charleston had so lowered American 
credit as to make his commercial scheme impradlicable. In Paris he found two 
future presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, the latter then a boy 
at school, besides Franklin and his grandson. Temple Franklin. Franklin gave 
him a letter to West ; and, happy in the expec5lation of at last enjoying pro- 
fessional instru(5lion, he went over to London, where he was received by West 
with charadleristic cordiality. 

At that time, Trumbull had never had a teacher in painting, and had 
acquired what skill he had from copying such paintings and engravings as he 
could find. He had not even learned to help himself by laying off the work in 

John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 


squares ; and West looked in astonishment as he proceeded with his first task, 
that of copying the Madonna delta Sedia. When it was done, the generous master 
cried, "Nature intended you for a painter ! " At this time Stuart was also a 
pupil of West. 

Those must have been blissful months for the young devotee of art. We 
know that he loved the work, because he did not let anything, even the wonders 
of London, interfere with it. He kept his part of the contract with the British 
government, and the horizon seemed clear. But in November up came a cloud 
of the darkest hue. Arnold, whom he had known as a brilliant patriot, had 
plunged into infamy. Andre had suffered the penalty of a spy ; and the wrath 
of England gave the American tories in lyondon a chance to carry out their spite 

toward the jealously 
ernor Trumbull, 
friend. How Trum- 
place himself in such 
almost inconceivable; 
intentions and the 
dudt probably led 
same in other people, 
nation on being sud- 
high treason ! Listen 
high-spirited youth, 
home, when he bursts 
of the tedious exam- 
clamation : " I am an 
is Trumbull ; I am a 
you call the rebel 
cut ; I have served 
army ; I have had 

In the Vale Art School. 

watched son of Gov- 
Washington's trusted 
bull had ventured to 
a den of lions is 
but the purity of his 
rectitude of his con- 
him to expecft the 
Judge of his conster- 
denly arrested for 
to the impetuous and 
proud of his place at 
into the impertinence 
ination with the ex- 
American ; my name 
son of him whom 
governor of Connecti- 
in the rebel American 
the honor of being 
him whom you call 

an aid-de-camp to 

the rebel General Washington !" 

After this concise autobiography, he was treated with more respedl ; but no 
representations of neutral condudt saved him from a night in Tothill-Fields 
Bridewell. He slept that night in the bed of a highwayman ! Visions of the 
dignity of the governor's home in shaded Lebanon must have risen often that 
night, with the wondering thought of what father and mother would think of 
art now. By his own quickness and the intervention of Lord Germaine, he was 
saved from imprisonment in Clerkenwell, the only criminal prison then left in Lon- 
don, and was enabled to choose his cage. Rejecting the costly dignity of the 
Tower, he preferred to return to Tothill-Fields Bridewell, where, for a guinea a 
week, he had a good room in which to be locked up for eight months. 

West, himself on rather insecure ground as a lover of his native land, 
obtained an audience with the King, who, after hearing the story, ejaculated : 
" I pity him from my soul ! But, West, go to Mr. Trumbull immediately, and 


John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

pledge to him my royal promise that, in the worst possible event of the law, his 
life shall be safe." 

At last, through Burke's intercession, and with West and Copley as sureties, 
he was told that he might go, not to return until peace should be restored. With 
great store of meditation on the vicissitudes of life, and a copy of a Correggio 
made during his imprisonment, the Madonna and infant Saviour from the St. 
Jerome at Parma, now in the Yale Gallery, he sought Amsterdam, as the best 
port of embarkation. There he found letters from his father, empowering him to 
negotiate a loan for Conne(5ticut. John Adams was there on the same errand for 
the United States, but for both bad news from America rendered the attempt vain. 



In the Yale Art School. 

Setting out on the famous frigate South Carolina, Commodore Gillon, August 
12, Trumbull experienced adventures enough to fill a second ^neid. During 
the voyage of four months, they were tossed about from the Texel to the mouth 
of the Elbe, from the Orkneys to Spain, from the Bay of Biscay to Boston 
Harbor. Once Commodore Barney, who was returning from imprisonment in 
England, rushed on deck and saved them from imminent wreck ; and again, their 
last dollar was required to pay Spanish boatmen to overtake their retreating 
ship. Having escaped perils of fogs and gales, of loosened cannon, of lack of 
food, of British cruisers and Spanish detentions, of Cape Ann rocks, and of three 
days' Massachusetts snow-storms, the wanderer at last reached Lebanon alive, 
in January, 1782. It is not surprising that he was ill for months. 

Nothing daunted his zeal for art ; and after recovery he had one more con- 
ference with his father on his life work. Painting won the day over law ; and, 
satisfying himself with the parting shot, " Conne(5licut is not Athens !" the old 
governor yielded. In December, 1783, John returned to London, and to West's 
studio. At this time Lawrence was often a fellow painter. This sojourn in 

Jolui TruinbuU, the Patriot Painter. 


London was a very important one for Trumbull, for during it he really decided 
on his career as a historical painter. His first composition of that kind was 
done while visiting the Rev. Mr. Preston in Kent. It was on paper, in India 
ink,— "The Death of General Frazer." Both " Bunker's Hill " and the "Death 
of Montgomery ' ' were painted in the studio of West, who urged him to devote 
himself to scenes of the American Revolution. It was then that Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, at a dinner given by West, admired the yet unfinished "Bunker's 
Hill," attributing it to the host and complimenting him on his improvement in 
color. It happened that some months before Trumbull had taken to Reynolds 
for advice some portraits of Colonel Wadsworth and his son, only to be snubbed 



Fainted in London by Tritnibidl. 


Of Hartford. 

From t/w portrait by 7'rumbull, 

by a snappish remark about " the coat looking like bent tin."* Sir Joshua's 
confusion on finding out who was being praised quite satisfied the young painter. 

The best way of making these historical pidlures pay was to seek sub- 
scribers for engravings of them ; and the effort to procure the plates and the 
subscriptions involved much travel, delay, and expense. In the course of these 
journeys, the painter met both adventures and great men. A letter to Le Brun 
in Paris introduced him to the artistic world there, and notably to David and the 
English miniature painter, Cosway. 

Jefferson was then in Paris as our minister to France. He was greatly inter- 
ested in the projedlof a revolutionary series, and invited Trumbull to visit him 
at his house, the Grille de Chaillot. Thus, with the advice and adlually under 

* The pidlure is now in the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford. 


JoJui Trtimbull, the Patriot Painter. 

the roof of the writer of the immortal paper, the painting of the " Declaration 
of Independence" was begun. Trumbull took unbounded pains in making 
this a trustworthy memorial of the momentous scene, and years were spent in 
securing the portraits. Says he : " Mr. Hancock and Samuel Adams were 
painted in Boston ; Mr. Edward Rutledge, in Charleston, S. C. ; Mr. Wythe, 
at Williamsburg, in Virginia ; Mr. Bartlett, at Exeter, in New Hampshire, etc." 
Of some of the signers, already dead, no portraits existed ; but no imaginary 
heads were introduced. What an achievement it was to fix on canvas the 
features and expression of forty-seven men who were in Congress assembled on 
that July day ! 

I» the Koiunda of the Capitol^ Washington. 

When we enter that sacred room in old Independence Hall in Philadelphia, 
the present fades away; the assemblage conjured to life by Trumbull's wand 
rises as the reality. Every schoolboy knows it, — the colonial room, the dull red 
curtains, the flags taken at St. John's, the dignified dress and furniture, the 
groups of expedlant members, the alert, attentive face of Hancock in the chair, 
the solemn hush over all, as the five men, grouped by the artist as they truly 
are in our thoughts, present the paper fraught with such consequences. There 
they are : John Adams in brown cloth, his broad, enlightened views showing 
plainly on his handsome face ; Roger Sherman, firm as a rock, with his tall 
form, and face full of common sense ; Livingston, looking at it as a wise business 
transaction ; the venerable Franklin, his eyes turned to heaven in philosophic 
contemplation of the results of their adl ; in the middle, the fiery Jefferson, in 
plum-colored velvet coat, one step in advance, while presenting the document 

John Trumhdl, the Patriot Painter. 


for which his pen is responsible. You feel the silence which in one moment will 
be broken by irrevocable words ; you know that soon one after another will 
come forward to sign away his safety with England, — that the Liberty Bell will 
peal forth above their heads,— that a nation will be born. 

But it was long before Trumbull completed the work so auspiciously planned 
in company with Jefferson. In 1786, happy in the approbation given to his 
pidlures in Paris, he left the brilliant society there, splendid even when within 
the shadow of coming events, and travelled to Stuttgart to attend to the engrav- 
ing of his two historical works. He had, as usual, a series of interesting experi- 


In the Rotunda o/ the Capitol. 

ences. He was alert for everything pi(5luresque ; old castles and churches, 
peasant life, galleries and all. His pencil sketches made during the trip refledt 
the varied interest of what he saw. The Rhine smiled and frowned as is its 
wont ; and even now the painter's words sparkle with the fun of one day's 
voyage in a kind of row-boat, with a small mixed company of queerly assorted 
but really congenial people, who ate their cold chicken from pieces of paper, 
distributed the two wine glasses between the men and the women, and all 
chattered in their various languages. Then a fierce storm swept down on them, 
driving them to the bank and the shelter of osiers. 

Through storm and sunshine, on her way home after two years in Lausanne, 
flits the lovely daughter of Gen. Gresnier de Breda with her pretty face and 
bewildering flutter of piquant headgear. The tale ends properly with a dinner 
invitation and addresses exchanged with the pretty girl's papa and mamma. 


In the Yale Art School. 

John TnimbuU, Uic Patriot Painter. 91 

In London again, he gave careful study to the composition and preparation 
of those war scenes which were then his absorbing interest. Then he painted 
John Adams with "the powder combed out of his beautiful hair," and the 
"Sortie from Gibraltar," called by Horace Walpole "the finest pidlure he had 
seen painted north of the Alps." It made enough of a sensation to arouse the 
Marquis of Hastings to forbid British officers to patronize anything "done by a 
Trumbull." Trumbull refused six thousand dollars for it. The painting is 
now in the Boston Athenaeum. It is not strange that one so constantly in the 
societ}' of famous men in L,ondon and Paris should multiply the number of his 
portraits of American and English and French officers. 

Trumbull witnessed the outbreak of the French Revolution in Paris in 1789, 
saw the Bastile fall, and attended L,afayette when he calmed a French mob. 
While they were breakfasting together, Lafayette spread before him the true 
objecflof his party, and uttered prophetic warnings as to the danger which would 
follow any ascendency of the Duke of Orleans — words printed on Trumbull's 
mind by succeeding events. Lafayette wrote to him in later years, expressing 
most lively appreciation of his works and asking him to paint the Battle of Mon- 
mouth,* as involving many portraits precious to himself. 

The French Revolution in many ways was a decided blight to Trumbull's 
prosperity. Jefferson, still our minister in Paris, offered him the position of 
his private secretary. He declined this, as well as a mission to the Barbary 
States, mainly because he wished to devote himself to finishing his historical 
paintings and securing subscribers for engravings from them ; but he had the 
chagrin to find, on returning to the United States for that purpose, that the 
whole population was so absorbed in abusing or advocating the performances of 
the French as to leave small chance for interest in the portrayal of the struggle 
through which we had just passed. Still the subscription list was headed by 
the name of Washington (four copies), followed by Hamilton, Jay, Adams and 
all the leading men of the country. 

When Jay went to England as envoy extraordinary to negotiate a treaty, 
Trumbull accepted an offer to be his secretary. After several busy months, the 
treaty was completed. Apparently, the memory which was strong at six, had 
not failed at thirty-eight ; for when Jay asked him to commit to memory, word 
by word, the whole treaty, in order to transmit it safely to Mr. Monroe in Paris, 
he did so. 

Col. Trumbull had been arrested in London for high treason, and now found 
himself under injurious suspicion in Paris. However, claiming immunity as an 
artist, he pursued his way to Stuttgart, to hasten the delayed engraving. But 
the way was beset by perils of contending armies ; and one night at Miihlhausen, 
he was barred from either bed or carriage by the presence of the French general 
who had his headquarters there. In the crowd he met the old general, who 
"looked at me keenly and asked bluntly, 'Who are you — an Englishman ?' 
'No, general, I am an American of the United States.' 'Ah! do you know 

* A painting of the Battle of Monmouth, by Trumbull, but not quite finished, is in the 
Young Men's Institute Library, in New Britain, Conn. 


John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

Conned;icut?' 'Yes, sire, it is my native state.' 'You know then, the good 
Governor Trumbull?' 'Yes, general, he is mj^ father!' ' Oh, mon Dieu, que 
ie suis charme ! I am delighted to see a son of Governor Trumbull. Entrez, 
entrez, — you shall have supper, bed, everything in the house.' I soon learned 
that the old man had been in the legion of the Duke de I^auzun, who had been 
quartered in my native village during the winter which I passed in prison in 

London, and he had heard 
me much spoken of there. 
Of course I found myself in 
excellent quarters. The old 
general kept me up almost all 
night, inquiring of everything 
and everybody in America, 
especially of the people in 
Lebanon, and above all, the 
family of Huntington, with 
whom he had been quar- 

Again, in 1797, on Trum- 
bull's last visit to France, he 
was in still greater danger 
from the Terrorists. His 
favorite dress, gray cloth with 
black velvet cape, happened 
to be of the colors regarded 
by the revolutionists as a 
badge of hostility. He was 
suspedted, watched, followed. 
With difficulty he procured 
a passport for a necessary trip 
to Stuttgart. 

On his return to Paris 
the espionage was still closer, 
and he, in common with our envoys, felt that the worst might come at any 
moment. During his stay in America, Talleyrand had been treated with great 
hospitality by Trumbull's brother, then speaker of the house, as well as by 
King and Gore, friends of Trumbull ; but now he left his letter unanswered for 
weeks, and was unmoved by his appeals, even while inviting him to dine with 
Mme. de Stael and Lucien Bonaparte. At last, to his dismay, he found that 
his name was on the list of suspedled. Was the guillotine to be the end ? 
Then, in despair, he bethought him of his former friend, the great painter, David. 
David, who, although deeply infatuated by the carnage due to his party, 
could yet stop to do a friendly deed, greeted him cordially, told him to get the 
Bunker Hill pi(5lure, and to go with him to the police. What a change ! When 
he entered arm in arm with the " Citoyen " David, and bearing the memorial 

In the Yale A rt School. 

John Trumbull, flic Patriot Painter. 


of a fight for Freedom, the sneers of the Frenchmen became smiles, and the pass- 
port was readily given, with many apologies. We can understand how Trumbull 
lost no time in hastening from Paris, his route to Calais even then beset with 
adventures, and how he eagerly offered seventy guineas to be taken out to the 
Dover packet, then in the roads. Even when on English soil, he must have 
felt twice to be sure that his head was on his shoulders ! 

During this time, 
he had an opportunity 
to know Jay thorough- 
ly, and we can perceive 
that intimate knowl- 
edge in the portrait 
he has left of the stain- 
less judge. Various 
positions of trust were 
offered by govern- 
ment ; he accepted 
that of fifth commis- 
sioner on the board ap- 
pointed by the two 
nations to execute the 
seventh article in the 
' ' treaty of amitj^ com- 
merce and naviga- 
tion," just concluded. 
It was a position of 
great delicac}^ involv- 
ing both impartiality 
and firm decision. He 
seems to have per- 
formed his duties ably 
and conscientiously. 
The other commis- 
sioners were John 
Wickoff, John Anstey, 
Christopher Gore (his college friend) and William Pinckney. The work of the 
commission went on from 1796 to 1804. The report of the proceedings, sub- 
mitted to our government, perished in the flames of the war of 181 2. 

About 1800, Trumbull had married the beauty whose portrait is almost her 
only history. It has been said that "Her early name and lineage were never 
divulged." But we know that she was an English woman, Sarah, the daughter 
of Sir John Hope ; and as we gaze on the exquisite portrait which is her hus- 
band's memorial of her in the Trumbull gallery, we feel that we do not need to 
know more. Daintiness is written all over her delicate features, her rose-leaf 
skin, her ruffles, her fluffy locks escaping from the coy cap, and that evanescent. 

Front the painting in the Essex Institute, Salem, Mass, 


94 John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

enchanting smile. Many stories are still told of her eccentricities, of her unfort- 
unate seasons of being overcome by something stronger than tea ; but Trum- 
bull's tribute was : — 

"In April, 1824, I had the misfortune to lose my wife, who had been the faithful and 
beloved companion of all the vicissitudes of twenty -four years. She was the perfe6l personifi- 
cation of truth and sincerity, — wise to counsel, kind to console, by far the more important and 
better half of me, and with all, beautiful beyond the usual beauty of women." 

After sixty-three days spent on the Atlantic, Trumbull landed once more 
in his own country. He found himself welcomed by his family and by the 
Cincinnati of New York, but under a political cloud as a Federalist and follower 
of Washington rather than of Jefferson. Shut out from painting in Boston by 
the fadt that Stuart had just been invited to settle there, he selecfled New York 
for the pradtice of his profession. Then it was that he painted the portraits of 
Jay and Hamilton for the City Hall, and those of Stephen Van Rensselaer and 
the first President Dwight, now in the gallery of the Yale Art School. He met 
Hamilton and Burr at a dinner on the Fourth of July— the one brilliant, the 
other silent ; a few days later, the nation was in mourning over that fatal duel. 

At various times Trumbull had tried business ventures, investing in valu- 
able paintings, or in wine and brandy, as opportunity offered ; but the winds and 
the waves were always destru6live when his cargoes were on the sea. 

London drew him once more across the water, in 1808 ; and the congenial 
atmosphere helped him to produce his best works there. The crudity of our 
own life then afforded little encouragement for the aesthetic . The war of 181 2 
prevented return from England, and involved him in debts which weighed him 
down for years. But after his return, in 1815, the cheriished idea of a series of 
national pidtures was presented to Congress, and was urged by Judge Nicholson 
and Mr. Timothy Pitkin. It met favor, and, in 1817, Congress formally com- 
missioned Trumbull to execute for the Capitol four commemorative paintings. 
He had hoped for eight ; but, in consultation with President Madison, who was 
empowered by Congress to assign the subjects, a satisfadlory choice was made. 

The Declaration, of course, stood foremost. The two surrenders of entire 
armies, Burgoyne's and Cornwallis's, extraordinary and momentous events, came 
next ; for the fourth, Trumbull suggested Washington resigning his commission, 
as of moral significance. After more than seven years these works were com- 
pleted and carefully placed in the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washington, where 
for generations the crowds of visitors have paused to gaze upon them. Trumbull 
had been coUedling portraits for these works for years ; he had studied the 
details of dress and weapons ; he had visited the .scene of each event. He felt it 
to be the work of his life, and he spared no effort in the execution or in arrange- 
ments for the preservation of the pictures after they were placed on the wall. 

In the two surrenders, the faces express most vividly the feelings of the 
hour. The Surrender of Cornwallis gave the painter more trouble in composition 
than any other ; for, as he says, the event was purely formal, and the landscape 
flat. But he had made the portraits of the French officers in Jefferson's Paris 
home, long ago, in 1786. He succeeded in grouping naturally the chiefs of the 

John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 95 

three powers in the center. Irving and Trumbull, with pen and pencil, depi(5l 
the scene alike : General Lincoln on his white horse, Rochambeau at the head 
of the French troops, the British sullenly yielding to fate, Washington, in blue 
and buff, on his bay horse, in the calm dignity of success. If you go to that yet 
colonial city, Annapolis, they will show you with pride, in the fine old capitol, 
the room where Washington resigned his commission. You are allowed to stand 
on the "very spot" covered by Washington's feet then. All is carefully pre- 
served as Trumbull gave it, except the balcony, which the eye vainly seeks, 
expedting to behold Martha Washington and Eleanor Custis viewing the scene 
with eager attention. 

Trumbull did not wish to " sink into premature imbecility" after finishing 
these works. Although then seventy-two, he began a series of small paintings 
of the striking events of the Revolution. Of these, in size between the Rotunda 
piAures and the originals in New Haven, the Hartford Atheneum possesses a num- 
ber — the Battles of Bunker Hill, Princeton, Trenton, Quebec, and the Declaration. 
The same gallery contains many other interesting pi6tures by Trumbull, and, 
particularly, one called his last portrait. It is a delightful specimen of his work, 
but sad to say, the name of the refined subjedt is lost. We know that he is an 
artist, by the book of sketches in his hand. Trumbull had a studio in New York 
at various places ; once, on Broadway, in a house afterward the Globe Hotel. 

His merits as a painter are not due entirely to our imaginations investing 
him with a halo as a pioneer in art. War scenes and great people were Trumbull's 
subjedls, and he felt the dignity of his profession. His portraits have the charm 
of vividness and expression of chara(5ter. After a hundred years, the colors are 
still clear and harmonious ; and the painter seems to have struck a happy mean 
between the sallowness of Copley and the florid color of Stuart. We feel that we 
are looking at the real people when we see these faces, certainly one test of a 
good portrait. 

Trumbull's works, although largely in New Haven, are scattered in differ- 
ent cities. New York has two in the L,enox Library and four in the City Hall — 
Jay, Hamilton, a full length of Washington with a background of Broadway in 
ruins and the British ships departing, and Gen. George Clinton with the British 
storming Fort Montgomery in the Highlands where he commanded. This 
background was considered his best by the artist. In the Historical Society's 
collection are six or seven portraits, among them good ones of the sturdy old 
divine. Dr. Smalley, of Asher B. Durand, as well as of Br}'an Rossiter in mili- 
tary dress, and an excellent miniature of John Lawrance. The best of all his 
portraits is the very beautiful and well-preserved one of Hamilton, in the pos- 
session of the Metropolitan Museum. 

At the National Museum, in Washington, are the portraits of President and 
Mrs. Washington, painted in 1794. In private families in Connedlicut and 
Massachusetts, as well as in the Boston Athenaeum and the Hartford Wadsworth 
Atheneum, are other works. Norwich can boast of ten portraits and miniatures 
by him, almost a family gallery — the war governor, the father. Faith Trumbull, 
the mother, Sarah Hope, the wife, Faith Huntington, the sister of the painter. 


John Tnunbidl, the Patriot Painter. 


lost so early, among them. The 
four small historical paintings 
of Revolutionary scenes in the 
Yale gallery, which he did be- 
fore executing the large replicas 
in the Rotunda at Washington, 
are always regarded as far supe- 
rior to the latter in artistic 

Trumbull was deeply in- 
terested in the American Acad- 
emy of the Fine Arts, which 
was founded in 1812, in New 
York, with Edward L,ivingston 
as president and Peter Irving 
as secretary. Trumbull was 
the only artist on the board. 
Sometimes in a riding school in 
Greenwich street, near the Bat- 
tery, a very fashionable situa- 
tion, sometimes in the Custom House, and 
sometimes in the "old Almshouse," on 
the north side of the Park, fronting on 
Chambers street, it struggled to attradl the 
public. In 1816, in the latter place, Trum- 
bull was president, and his pidtures, now 
belonging to Yale, were there in one gal- 
Says Daniel Huntington: "Trumbull had a 
large studio at the building, and there the writer, 
when a child, saw him at work on his pidlures, and 
can never forget his dignified appearance, his courte- 
ous manners of the old school." 

The coUedtion of casts owned by the Academy 
was rare and costly then, and students were restri(5ted 
in using it to a few morning hours. On one eventful 
morning, two young men, Thomas S. Cummings, 
afterwards the historian of the National Academy of 
Design, and Frederick Styles Agate, were refused 
admittance by the janitor. Trumbull defended the 
janitor. A meeting of the disaifedled was held in the 
rooms of S. F. B. Morse ; and, in 1825, the National 
Academy of Design was founded, with the purpose of 
securing greater freedom for pradtice. This revolt 
from oppression drew forth heavy new.spaper cannon- 

John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 97 

ading from both sides. All this hurt Trumbull, sensitive after the battering 
of life. 

We hear of an evening when he walked into the room where the seceding 
students were at work, took the president's chair, and solemnly asked for signa- 
tures in the matriculation book. After waiting long, he had to depart without 
the names. Yet we learn that these same students borrowed casts from the 
academy, so we infer that the hostilitj' was not absolutely bloodthirsty. 

Trumbull was never able to amass a fortune. War, which helped him to 
gain so rich an experience of the world, and was really the foundation of his 
fame, always blighted his finances. In 1837, he made an arrangement with the 
Corporation of Yale College, whereby the coUedlion of his paintings, known as 
the Trumbull Gallery, became the property of the college, in return for an annu- 
ity of one thou-sand dollars, to be paid in quarterly instalments during his life. 
It was a bargain creditable and satisfactory to both parties concerned. The 
painter was happy in seeing his life work in tender, reverent hands, and in the 
knowledge that the revenue from admission was helping some needy student. 
From 1837 to 1841 he lived in New Haven, where he had friends, being con- 
nedled by marriage with Professor Silliman, the elder. 

Passing away in New York, his body was placed in a vault in New Haven 
prepared by himself on the Yale Campus, beneath the Trumbull Gallery, now 
the Treasury Building. When Mr. and Mrs. Street gave the building for the 
Yale Art School, the Trumbull paintings found an appropriate sandluary in the 
main gallery, and under the building still rest the bones of the artist and his 
wife. It is plea,sant to think that perhaps his spirit hovers around the spot, 
pleased to see his legacy cherished, and to behold such privileges for art study 
as his youth never had. " Connedlicut is not Athens" yet, dear old Governor 
Trumbull, but it is a wee bit nearer to it. 

The importance of this acquisition to an educational center like Yale can- 
not be overestimated. As years passed, Trumbull added as many more to the 
number of paintings mentioned in the original agreement. There are fiftj'-five 
enumerated, besides many miniatures. Among them are copies of the old mas- 
ters and some large imaginative works, illustrating poetry, religion and history. 
The first independent work of the boy, " The Battle of Cannae," is there, and 
the last effort of the old man, "The Deluge" ; but the most numerous, valu- 
able, and beautiful are those connedted with the Revolution. 

Here you are ushered into the presence of not one famous patriot, but an 
assembly of our illu.strious ones. We speak to them, and they look upon us, 
with the cares of state, the despondency of defeat, the gladness of victory, in 
their faces. They welcome us to their midst, and ask us to live and think 
with them — Burgoyne and Rahl and Howe and Clinton and Riedesel, Lafayette, 
and Rochambeau, De Grasse and De Lauzun, Greene, Gates, Schuyler, Knox, 
Morgan, Glover, Mifflin, Wayne, Lincoln, Laurens, Rush, Monroe, Madison, 
Rutledge, the two Governors Trumbull, Wolcott, Morris — too many to tell. 

And the famous beauties who curled their hair and rustled their silks for the 
balls and the assemblies are smiling from their miniatures ; Martha Washington, 

98 John Trumbull, the Patriot Painter. 

and sweet little Eleanor Custis, and Harriet and Mary Chew, proud of their stately, 
battle-marked Germantown home, and sweet Faith Wadsworth, daughter of 
Gov. Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., Cornelia Schuyler Morton, "one of the worthiest 
of women," Mary Seymour Chenevard, the Hartford beauty, and Harriet Wads- 
worth, beloved by the painter and early lost. 

Dominating all is Washington, in full uniform, his white horse at one side, 
one hand on his field-glass, the other on his sword, his figure drawn up to its 
full height, his features lit by "the high resolve to conquer or to perish." He 
is planning his most brilliant move, just on the night before marching to Prince- 
ton. The watch-fires which are to delude the enemy are already burning, and 
soldiers are defending the bridge behind. The design, most successfully carried 
out, was to show Washington in his heroic, military chara<5ler. The portrait 
was painted in Philadelphia, in 1792, for the city of Charleston, and the general 
entered with spirit into Trumbull's idea. " Every minute article of the dress, 
down to the buttons and spurs, and every strap and buckle of the horse-furni- 
ture, were carefully painted from the several objedts." But Charleston preferred 
the hero as president, and he patiently sat for another portrait, which is now in 
that cit3^ So the artist kept this until the Society of the Cincinnati in Connedli- 
cut was dissolved, when he and others (his brother, Governor Trumbull, Gen. 
Jedediah Huntington, the Hon. John Davenport, the Hon. Jeremiah Wadsworth 
and the Hon. Benjamin Talmadge) presented it to the college. Many have 
painted the great man, but no one else has so clearly portrayed his different 
phases of charadler in the varying and progressive scenes of his career, at Tren- 
ton, at Princeton, at New York after the evacuation, at Annapolis laying down 
his sword, and last as president. 

Peace to the proud, sensitive soldier-artist, resting under the monument 
made by his own hands ! Life tossed him like a ball between two continents, 
but gave to him more nearly than to most men the boon of accomplishing his 
heart's desire. 

Tablet over the Grave under the Yale Art School : 

CoL. John Trumbull 

Patriot and Artist 

Friend and Aid 



Lies Beside his Wife 

Beneath this 

Gai^i,Ery of Art. 

Lebanon, 1756 — New York, 1843. 






AUG 181941) 



QV ii T.OVr 

- r^igC'D L!?